Al Jazeera and the European Journalism Centre to Translate The Data Journalism Handbook into Arabic


About one year ago, the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation released The Data Journalism Handbook, a free collaborative book that shows journalists how to use data to improve the news. Since then we’ve been hard at work to set up a global translation initiative – working with journalists, media organisations and universities to translate and localise the book for audiences around the world. 


As part of this initiative, we are pleased to announce that the European Journalism Centre and Al Jazeera launched the process of translating The Data Journalism Handbook into Arabic. The Arabic translation, which follows similar efforts in Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish, started about a month ago, and is expected to be concluded by the end of May. 

The Centre started looking for partners interested in collaborating on this translation project in autumn last year. Mohammed El Haddad, online producer for Al Jazeera English, responded to the call and took upon himself the task of garnering internal support for the project. Since then, El Haddad has been one of the leading forces behind this joint effort. Two Al Jazeera translators work on this project: Nada Ahmed, a translation intern, and Ahmed M. Elgoni, senior translator and the project's coordinator. Explaining Al Jazeera's motive for joining the project, Elgoni noted that “For Al Jazeera, translating The Data Journalism Handbook into Arabic will introduce new ideas and data literacy to better journalism across the world".

One of the greatest challenges for the two translators so far has been to compile a glossary of the technical terms used in the original English version that do not exist in Arabic yet, and come up with suited translations. The glossary contains terms such as 'hackathons', 'Hacks/Hackers', 'data mining', 'scraping' and so on. 

The original English version of the book and the existing finalised translations into Russian and Spanish are freely available online under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, which means that they can be freely downloaded, shared and built upon. The Spanish version of The Data Journalism Handbook can be found on the Interactives section of the La Nación Argentina website. The Russian translation can be found at the Library section of RIA Novosti’s Corporate Training Centre. The English version can be found at datajournalismhandbook.org.