Egypt’s second revolution on June 30th 2013 came to reinforce the power of digital technology and the importance of digital literacy. The ability to create, access and understand material online has been crucial to recent Egyptian developments since January 2011. Yet, digital literacy is only the domain of a small group of young, tech-savvy Egyptians. The education system in Egypt is lagging behind the digital age which is, admittedly, not only changing but moving far too fast. Young people in Egypt account for almost 40% of the population and digital instruments be it a Gameboy, PS 3, a tablet, a smart phone or a laptop are commonly available. Through these instruments they acquired the basics of digital literacy which allows them to take photos and make videos, upload them on Facebook or YouTube, subtitle a clip and to create films digitally. This new literacy challenges the traditional education system that is print-based, teacher-centred and exam-focused. Translation has always been indispensable to Egyptian culture and economy. As technology changes, economic practices and means of cultural expression change accordingly and this requires special attention and research. The relation between digital technology and translation is best examined through audiovisual translation which remains an under-developed field of study in Arabic. The paper examines the role of digital literacy in shaping the new cultural format in Egypt which is increasingly becoming audio-visual. Thus it will argue that digital literacy should be given a primary place in the audiovisual translation curriculum as it is trusted with spearheading change and reform. The argument is that audiovisual translation is assuming a much bigger part in disseminating knowledge which is consumed by the young at a much larger volume than traditional pedagogy has been able to cope with.
Muhammad Gamal, University of Canberra, Australia
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