Intricacies Of Arabic Language – Pitfalls For Business Translation

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Arabic is a language that contains many intricacies. You may think the fact that they read and write from right to left is confusing. Yet, this is only the beginning. Keeping that in mind, it is often one of the most difficult languages to translate, which is why it is advisable to use the services of a company whereby the translators have Arabic as their mother tongue. It is highly ill-advised to use automation translation, and by reading on you will discover the main reasons why…

There are a number of semantic problems when it comes to translating Arabic to other languages. One of these issues is the fact that the Arabic language contains a lot of words that are polysemic. Polysemy is when a lexical item has a number of different meanings. This makes translation difficult, as it becomes tough to determine what meaning is appropriate. This is virtually impossible for automated translated services, whilst an inexperienced translator can also run into troubles. It is a good idea to read up on the difference between translation and interpretation, as this gives some useful insight into the process entailed.

There are also stylistic problems that arise when translating Arabic for business purposes. When translating this language there tends to be a lot of attention given to the context, yet the style is frequently neglected when it is indeed important. Stylistic problems are most evident in religious texts. The Qur’an is a prime example, whereby many styles are used to convey its message. The following is a mere handful, persuasive, literary, argumentative, didactic and historical narrative. Ellipsis is one of the most problematic issues when it comes to stylistic issues, this is whereby some parts of a sentence are omitted yet the meaning is understood by the situation itself or the surrounding text. Yet, this is something that is again impossible for automated translation to pick up on, and difficult for inexperienced translators.

Arabic is also a language that is greatly extrapositive. Extraposition refers to the process or result of when an element is moved from its normal position to the end of the sentence or towards the end of it. An example of this would be ‘the child that got top grades delighted his mother’ compared with ‘it delighted the mother that the child got top grades’. Arabic language is filled with this, with many types of extraposition used with rhetorical purposes. This poses a lot of translation issues.

Last but not least, there are a lot of cultural issues, such as the use of ‘mother of’, ‘father of’ or ‘friend of’ in order to indicate the ownership of something. There are also a lot of culture-bound words in Arabic, including everything from various foods to places. This makes them extremely difficult to be translated.

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