The Intellectual Property Rights of Culture
Where: University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran
When: Dec 5, 2012 (10-12 am)
Organizer: Organizer: Dr. A. Doostdar, President of the Center for International Scientific Studies and Collaboration (CISSC);ãDr. S. A. Mirhosseini (CISSC)
Host: President Prof. Dr. Seyed Abolhasan Navvab, University of Religions and Denominations
Abstract: Confucius once said: "If the names are not correct, speech is not in accordance with the truth of things." In this talk we shall discuss translation studies in the 21st century and the future of global language.
Purpose: Translation is a tool to communicate ideas from one language group to another. That said, translation must also have its limits when it comes to names, titles, and concepts that, often as a matter of common-sense, mutual respect, or simple ownership, should not be or cannot be easily translated at all. Words like Allah, Imam, or Ayatollah for example. Somehow, translation has made us act carelessly when trying to understand and research foreign cultures, especially when it comes to studying Eastern traditions.
Why: We could enrich, I claim, the world's knowledge(s) significantly if translation were to be more regulated, and limited.
What's the difference: Global language should ideally bring something to the tables from all the world's cultures; and if a certain culture like the Islamic tradition in general has obviously invented thousands of non-Western concepts, then it should hold claim to its "cultural property rights' just as the West does with its European (Latin/Greek) taxonomies in philosophy and science for example.
Big Idea: Global Language is a healthy mixture of all the world languages vocabularies combined, to which the various cultures may claim intellectual property rights that prevent ill-willed translation, misinterpretations, and misleading categorizations.
About Qom: Qom, the Holy City, is the center for Shi'a scholarship in the world. One of the most impressive sights is the shrine of Fatema Mae'sume, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rid. Another sight of interest for scholarship is the Grand Library of Ayatollah al-Uzma Marashi Najafi.