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Summary: Acronyms and names of companies, projects, and entities should NEVER be translated. They should be researched.

 

The issue of translating names and acronyms may not be as challenging in Latin and Indo-European languages as it is in Arabic translation. There are many reasons for this differentiation, including (but not limited to):

  1. Sharing the same alphabet between most languages in these two large families of languages (Latin and Indo-European) makes names and acronyms easier to adapt.
  2. Historically, Arabic is not a language that uses acronyms. It is a descriptive language that uses long phrases to describe subjects.
  3. Not all sounds in Latin and Indo-European languages are available in Arabic, and vice versa, which sometimes creates endless possibilities when transliterating.
  4. Arabic does not have upper case and lower case letters, in other words, Arabic letters can be written stand-alone, which makes abbreviations challenging in this language.

The question is not how to identify a gifted person, but how to give people the chance to be gifted.

Inspired by the Giftedness 2012 conference (The 12th Asia-Pacific conference on giftedness hosted by Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for the Distinguished Academic Performance), I would like to pose an important question to this blog reader's: How fair is the current structure of "giftedness" identification programs?This applies to the way most societies, including our Arab one, define giftedness influence performance even at the corporate level.

It was by mere luck that I came across a page on Friends’ fictional character Phoebe Buffay on Wikipedia (Ok, I admit, I was searching for Smelly Cat the song, just for fun!). I looked at the page, and in one second, I decided to write this short post on the status of Arabic content online.

 

This guide is intended to help new and experienced translators and editors understand AL Arabic’s philosophy in Arabic digital content, and translation in particular.

Although this is not a translation course, it is intended to “train” translators on basic principles in translation. Part 4 of this series will focus on Arabic translation techniques, but the rest of the posts can apply to all language combinations.


We welcome your feedback at any time, as we are sure experienced translators and content specialists have a lot to add and enrich this quick guide.

 

This part deals with translation technicality.

 

B. Transcreation is (not) all about technicality:

Being gifted and talented allows you to venture into the the Arabic translation business, but it is not all that you need. You need to be aware of the techniques required, and to train yourself on them. Transcreation requires that you adapt your style to the required tone of voice, and select domain-appropriate vocabulary and expressions. You also need to adapt to the text type. Translating an article or essay is different from working on a brochure, a press release, or on product description texts.

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