Salma Harland, Literary Translator

Salma Harland MA (she/her)

Literary Translator

Arabic (OA, CA, MSA, ECA); English (UK, US)

Professional Memberships:
- The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)

- The Emerging Translators Network (ETN) 

Salma Harland is an Egyptian-born, England-based freelance translator and researcher who works between Arabic and English. She has been formally studying both languages since 1998 and literary translation since 2008, most notably at the American University in Cairo and the University of Sussex. She is also an alumna of the National Centre for Writing and the British Centre for Literary Translation.

Harland translates literature, philosophy, and everything in-between, but she is particularly passionate about key texts from pre-Nahda and (post)modern Arabic poetry that have been forgotten or understated in English translation. Her literary translations have appeared in a broad range of international publications, including the National Centre for Writing's Emerging Literary Translators Anthology (2022), Ancient Exchanges, ArabLit Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation, Y'alla: A Texan Journal of Middle Eastern Literature, and Medievalists.

Photo description: Salma, a young adult female with brown skin and straight black hair, smiles at the camera. She is wearing silver-framed reading glasses and a bronze Ankh necklace.

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National Centre for Writing, United Kingdom

Salma Harland [is] one of the most promising translators working today. [Her work] shows how . . . literature in translation takes us to the most remote places and the most distant time periods: to medieval Persia, a place of sensual poetry about food and objects of desire . . .


Ancient Exchanges, the University of Iowa's journal of classical texts in translation, United States

We take our seat at the table set by Salma Harland’s delectable translations of Kushājim’s gastronomic poetry...


عائشة السيفي، شاعرة وكاتبة عمانية

قرأتُ الترجمة وأدمعت عيناي. لقد ترجمت لي نصوصٌ عدة لكن هذه الترجمة فيها من الدفء والحنانِ، الكثير. إنها مكتوبة برقة وعذوبة طافحة لا يمكن أن تخطِئ القلب. سلامي وتحياتي لسلمى... أحببت القصيدة أكثر عندما نطقتها روح ترجمتها وسأسعد بتعاونات ترجمية مستقبليّة معها.

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Sally Michael Hanna, Professor of Afro-American Literature and Chair of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, October 6 University, Egypt

Salma’s critical thinking abilities, connective vision, and avid love of scholarship reveal a commitment to excellence. Her research interests and superior linguistic skills promise flexibility that accommodates different cultural environments. She is punctual, professional, and right on target… Her diligence and constant distinction always command respect and admiration on numerous levels.


Karam AbuSehly, Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Whenever I face a writer’s/translator’s block, I resort to Salma, who always has solutions. She is brilliant both in academic research and translation, which she has mastered through advanced academic study and professional practice. She often helps me proofread my translations, and she always proves to be accurate, punctual, and responsible in whatever task she undertakes. Her education and exposition to literature, philosophy and translation studies have given her a myriad of skills necessary for excellent translators.


Richmond Eustis, Assoc. Prof. of English and Spanish at Nicholls State University, United States

I remembered you as I embraced my oud.
I clasped it to my chest

And wondered how it does not burst into flames.


10th c. Palestinian poet Kushajim, in @arablit's gorgeous music issue.


Terrific translations by Salma Harland!

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Nihal Nour, Editor at The Egyptian International Publishing Company–Longman (EIPL), Egypt

Salma’s translations are excellent, showing a level of sophistication and nuanced knowledge of both languages that is uncommon among other translators... [H]er background in academia serves her well in this regard... I definitely recommend Salma for any translation project that requires nuance, skill, and dedication.


Hussain Laghabi, poet and translator, Saudi Arabia

Thank you for such a professional and honest translation experience, Salma. I am speechless and I never thought I could get such an accurate and beautiful translation of my poetry collection. I am sure you will be my literary translator of choice from now on as I have several writing projects in mind. And thank you so much for your patience and professional communication.

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Lucinda Parker Roberts, Campaigner and Author of Lucy’s Liver Transplant: A Story about Organ Donation, United Kingdom

Excellent, professional, high quality translator who went above and beyond her role to deliver a sensitive translation of the text. She was a delight to work with and I hope she will be available for my next project, so successful was her work on my first book.


Tracey Myers, Volunteer and Community Information Coordinator at Migration Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Salma has been responsive and delivered great work for our Migrant Info Hub, developed as a response to the Covid-19 crisis. Salma also supported us with essential community insight.

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Eslam Samy, CEO of Egyptian Researchers, Egypt

I very much appreciate the quality of work offered by such a professional translator as Ms. Salma. Her selection of words is so accurate, and she is a knowledgeable person, which leads to impressive results... I'd definitely work with her again.

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David Fairey, Sales at Knight of England Military Antiques, United Kingdom

Really friendly and approachable, will look at things in depth and more than willing to go the extra mile. Fully recommend!


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Salma Harland, M.A.

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