Learn Live: Humour in Arabic Literature

Three-week course starting -
Arabic literature drawing

For more information

  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk

Learn about the nuances of humorous literature, and discover how to translate it

Read the course outline (pdf)

We are offering 3 complimentary places to people who identify as being from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and for whom the cost is a barrier to participating in this online course

Framed by Arthur Asa Berger’s classification of humour, this 3-week course led by translator Sawad Hussain encourages you to engage in translating humour from a range of genres in contemporary Arabic literature: memoir, graphic novel, short stories, comics, poetry, play, essays and young adult literature from Mauritania, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Algeria and the wider Arabic-speaking world.

Each week will include creative, warm-up exercises, such as translating Arabic tongue twisters. Working together in pairs in breakout rooms, you will use Bridge translations (literal translations from a foreign language into English that keep the original word order, punctuation and multiple meanings of the original language) and Arabic originals (provided for each exercise). Participants will get the chance to practice your Arabic reading skills when decoding a joke, or work entirely relying on the English.

During one of the sessions we will be joined remotely by British Library curator Daniel Lowe to explore the Library’s extensive Arabic comic collection.

No knowledge of a foreign language is necessary to take part in this course. You do not need to be a translator to take part in this course.

This short course will take place on Zoom and the call link will be emailed to you the day before. Live subtitles will be provided by Stagetext.


Name: Learn Live: Humour in Arabic Literature
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546