Road safety event for female drivers launched in Saudi Arabia

The event aims to educate women about road rules and safety, and features cultural and educational exhibitions. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018

Road safety event for female drivers launched in Saudi Arabia

  • The event was held at Riyadh Park Mall in cooperation with the General Directorate of Traffic, the STC and other government entities
  • The director of Tabuk’s Traffic Department said it is preparing to issue 60 permits for new trainees who applied for licenses at the women’s driving school in the region

JEDDAH: A three-day recreational and educational event for women about driving cars was launched on Thursday by the director of the Riyadh Traffic Department, Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman Al-Kharsan, and Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) CEO Nasser Sulaiman Al-Nasser.

The event was held at Riyadh Park Mall in cooperation with the General Directorate of Traffic, the STC and other government entities.

In his speech, Al-Nasser stressed the STC’s eagerness to support preparations to implement the royal decree allowing women to drive from Sunday. 

“This royal decree falls in line with the company’s initiatives and programs in the field of social responsibility,” he said. 

“The STC’s participation in the event focuses on the principle of safety first, and on raising awareness of traffic laws.”

The event aims to educate women about road rules and safety, and features cultural and educational exhibitions.

Tabuk to issue 60 more licenses for female drivers

The director of Tabuk’s Traffic Department said it is preparing to issue 60 permits for new trainees who applied for licenses at the women’s driving school in the region. 

The department has already issued 40 permits as part of preparations to implement the royal decree allowing women to drive, said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Al-Ateeq.

The process is divided into three categories: Women holding a valid license, those with expired ones, and women not holding any permit.

Women holding a valid license will undergo a test before being issued their new Saudi license, replacing their foreign one. 

Women with expired licenses will be trained for six hours, after which they will be tested. 

If they pass, a license will be issued immediately, but if they fail, they will be able to do four more hours of training. 

 


Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

Updated 58 min 15 sec ago

Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

  • The Arabic word “jamarat" was inaccurately translated to “anthrax",  a dangerous infectious disease
  • Citing possible repercussions of the mistranslation, scholars want a probe to pinpoint responsibility

RIYADH: The Hajj and Umrah Ministry is investigating the inaccurate translation of the word “jamarat” into “anthrax,” which led to Sheikh Yusuf Estes making a video warning pilgrims of the mistake and its possible repercussions.

The translation concerned a bag that was a gift to pilgrims, containing small pebbles to use for the “stoning of the devil” upon their return from Muzdalifah. The bag had the correct original Arabic description, which roughly translates as “jamarat pebble bag,” whereas the English version of “jamarat” was translated into “anthrax,” a dangerous infectious disease.

According to SPA, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah was notified and opened an investigation with the contractor and translator on August 10, before handing them to authorities to take the necessary disciplinary action.

“Anthrax, where did they get that? They get it from Google, it’s not Google’s fault. Google allows people to tell the meaning of the different languages of words,” Sheikh Yusuf said in the video.

Google Translate, the free multilingual machine translator, relies on comparing large quantities of content between pairs of languages to establish patterns and, in most cases, determine the probability that certain words in one language will correspond with a set of words in another. 

Putting Google Translate to the test, Arab News used the platform to translate a name of a type of fish known in the region as “sha’oor” from Arabic to English. The scientific term for the fish is Lethrinus nebulosus, a type of emperor fish most commonly known as the green snapper or sand snapper.  

Google Translate’s translation was “thickness of feeling.”

Though it yields imperfect results, the service can be used at a pinch, though real human translators rather than artificial intelligence are far more likely to lead to more accurate translations.  

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Gisele Riachy, director of the Center for Languages and Translation at the Lebanese University in Beirut, explained how the mistranslation of “jamarat” could have happened.

“We have two possibilities, it was either translated by Google Translate or the translator was provided with a single sentence and therefore didn’t understand the meaning of “jamarat,” she said.

“The translator may have not taken into consideration the general context of the word, which has certain religious connotations, therefore it should have been borrowed, translated by the “Stoning of the Devil” or even left as it is.”

Dr. Riachy said that the word anthrax cannot be translated without an accompanying adjective for a better explanation of the term.

“What surprised me is that when translating the word “jamarat” from Arabic to English, the word should have been accompanied with the adjective “khabitha,” or malignant in Arabic, for it to be translated to “anthrax” in English. That is why I am confused and I do not think Google Translate would have translated it into “anthrax” if the Arabic version didn’t include the word “khabitha.”

Sheikh Yusuf Estes’ video was intended for those who would like to take the small bags home as a souvenir or gift, sending a message that the mistranslation could cause the traveler trouble with customs in their own countries.