This paper is premised on the notion that contact between the Arab “self” and the “other” occurs in tandem with the evolution of the Arabic language. The author argues that a consciousness of the self requires the emergence from the confines of self-identity and the embrace of an open identity. Such an identity enables self-consciousness and self-renewal through the knowledge, understanding, and interaction with “otherness”. Language is the mirror that reveals human existence and creates the understanding of existence. The evolution of language is thus a reflection of the evolution of the subject through the interaction with the other and the transmission of the other’s knowledge and technology. This has been the experience of the Arabic language since the mid-19th century and continues to be so to date. Translation contributed to the modernization of the Arabic language and made it part of contemporary cultural dialogue. The influence of translation is, therefore, not limited to the level of transmitted words, but includes the development of new conceptual and terminological systems and the creation of new synthetic forms. Within this context, Ibrahim elucidates the state of the Arabic language during its first interactions with major European languages. The paper addresses the fascination with the other, as evidenced in Abdel Rahman al-Jabarti’s chronicle of the history of Egypt, Historical and Biographical Marvels; the imitation of the other as evident in al-Tahtawi’s account of Paris, The Extraction of Gold from a Distillation in Paris; and the beginning of the restructuring of identity through the renewal of Arab cultural heritage as can be seen in the project for a second enlightenment founded by Taha Hussein, the offshoots of which remain today. An analysis of these texts demonstrates how the foundations and standards of translation approach theoretical stability, thereby allowing modern Arabic to be in line with the times in terms of its means of denotation and of expression and to be a language for literature, science, and education in equal measure.