This essay is an Algerian-French poet-translator’s personal reflection on the indispensable role that translation has played in his poetic creativity. Emphasizing in particular his bilingual education in the colonial Algerian context, he observes that his translation of poets from English, Arabic, and German into French is thus “doubly foreign” because his French is steeped in his Arabic culture and language. The essay advocates for the peaceful coexistence of any two languages, and especially the postcolonial coexistence of Arabic and French, as one of mutual enrichment. Tengour shows how this inclusive translational approach to Algerian bilinguality informs not only his creative process but also his editorial work, including Diwân ifriqiya, volume 4 of the Poems for the Millennium series from the University of California Press, and Poèmes du monde, a series of poetry in translation from Éditions Apic in Algeria, which has published over twenty poets from at least a dozen countries.

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