Arabic Document Translation
Arabic Document Translation
Arabic document translation begins with a thorough review all source documentation for the total number of words, subject matter and formatting requirements. Source documents must then be imported into translation memory (TM) tools like Trados. The Arabic linguistic team will use in TM tools order to ensure consistent translation across all documents, manage terminology and achieve cost savings by leveraging the translation memory on 100% matches and repetitive text. Post-linguistic formatting is required for Arabic document translation; the translated Arabic text is imported into an appropriate desktop publishing application so translation agency DTP specialists can ensure that document formatting will mirror the original source document layout. Due to the right to left (RTL) text display required in Arabic, placement of all visual elements, (graphics, tables, pull quotes), must be reversed from the page location used in source western languages.
People often request Arabic translation, when they really need both Arabic translation and Arabic desktop publishing (DTP). Translation converts a source language into a target language, i.e., English into Arabic. Desktop publishing formats the Arabic language document to match the source language document in terms of fonts, overall layout, and graphics. For Arabic and other bi-directional languages (i.e. Farsi, Hebrew) the DTP process involves both trying to maintaining the overall look and feel of the source documents while redesigning the document in a right to left (RTL) format.
A wide variety of documents may require Arabic translation and DTP, including: marketing materials, instruction manuals, medical documents and labels, legal documents, books, magazines, and newsletters.
Different industries produce a variety of documents and each industry presents its own challenges. For example, software translation frequently requires related printed collateral to also be translated into Arabic. The medical industry mandates multilingual inserts and labels, which must be precisely translated and formatted according to industry-standard specifications in order to achieve accuracy and compliance with international regulations. The Arabic language produces some additional challenges with right to left text display; table column order must be reversed from those displayed in western language versions.
Your language service provider (LSP) cannot proceed with your Arabic translation project until you have provided essential files and project information. You must provide your LSP with all desktop publishing source files (for example, .qxd, .doc, and .indd), fonts, and graphics used in your source language documentation. You should also indicate any graphics or areas of text which will not be translated to Arabic (for example, your company Logo). If any of your graphics contain text which must be translated (for example, maps) it is imperative that you provide the original, source graphic file format, not a derivative file format like *.eps. This will ensure that your translation company can access text layers and avoid costly insertion of editable text over rasterized text.
Whether your project is simple short, single-page fact sheet or a complex, frequently-updated, user guide, your translation agency should have demonstrable experience in Arabic translation and Arabic desktop publishing. Your translation company should also have a documented, comprehensive project process which includes:
- Receipt and review of all source files
- Analysis and preparation of files for a translation memory-based workflow
- Project kick-off meetings
- Glossary Development, style guide and reference material research
- Translation, edit and proofread the content (copy write into the target language)
- Desktop publish the text and graphics to match source documents
- Client review and approval
- Final QA
Arabic Certified Translation Services
Governmental organizations and agencies, as well as legal and medical entities often require certified Arabic translations. An Arabic certified translation is a document that has been translated into Arabic to be used for official purposes. The certification constitutes a legal record attesting to the accuracy of the Arabic translation.
Translation certification is mandatory when it is critical that the translation does not affect the original meaning of the source document in any way. Documents that often require Arabic certified translation include: marriage and divorce certificates, adoption papers, birth and death certificates, wills, academic records, legal contracts, medical records, financial records, customs and immigration documents, real estate deeds, leases, and contracts, police records, and more.
When searching for a translation company that provides certified Arabic translations, determine what level of certification services candidates provide. Any translation company or translator can claim to certify a translation. It is important to understand the different methods of certification, which are listed below.
- Some translation companies simply add a statement to the Arabic translation, which affirms the translated text is accurate and complete.
- Other translation agencies provide translation by sworn translators, who have been authorized by their government to translate and notarize documents themselves.
- Some translated materials, like divorce proceedings, require that the translation be certified by affidavit; the translator must declare in writing and on oath before a notary public that the translation is accurate and complete.
Arabic Medical Translations
Arabic medical translations must be performed by highly-skilled and experienced translators who have a thorough understanding of specific medical fields. Arabic medical translations must provide an accurate interpretation of the source language content into Arabic, and must be adapted to the target Arabic reader. That target Arabic ready may be a consumer, doctor, patient, employee or student.
A wide array of medical fields requires Arabic medical translations, including:
- Medical Equipment
- Environmental Health
- Public Health
Each medical field makes unique demands on Arabic medical translators: not only must the translators have a facility for the appropriate terminology; they must also understand the basic science behind the terms. Effective Arabic medical translators should have solid experience in their chosen medical subject area(s) and also be equipped with the latest English-to-Arabic dictionaries. These translators should also be highly-credentialed, with certifications, accreditations or advanced degrees, as appropriate to the field for which they are translating.
Medical translators are increasingly necessary to enable companies to provide accurate documentation in Arabic and other languages in order to comply with international regulations for selling and distributing medical products. Legal requirements which govern product sheets, labeling, and health and medical advice, mandate that Arabic translation teams must adhere to strict quality control processes when completing their translations.
Should you require Arabic medical translation, look for a translation company that recruits highly-qualified, proven medical translators. The translation company you select for Arabic medical translation should be prepared to supply notarization and consent of translations as needed, and should have in place appropriate non-disclosure policies and practices.
Arabic Technical Translation
The primary goal of Arabic technical translation is to communicate specific, complex information with complete clarity and lack of errors and/or omissions in the Arabic language. Arabic translators for such projects should possess the following skills in order to execute successful and accurate Arabic technical translations:
- Complete understanding of the source technical
Arabic technical translators must have a background in the technical field of the project on which they are working; this can be demonstrated by proof of appropriate education, certification, and work experience in a particular field. Arabic technical translators may have to conduct independent research in order to fully understand the source material and to provide current technical terminology for complex topics.
- Arabic-specific technical knowledge
Arabic technical translators are also responsible for adapting technical material for Arabic-speaking markets. This can include altering number, currency, and date formats, adapting information for local regulations, adhering to industry standards in Arabic-speaking countries, and ensuring that the style is appropriate for an Arabic audience.
- Terminology management skills
Translation memory tools such as Trados can be used to ensure consistent and accurate use of terminology in an Arabic technical translation project. The Arabic translator must first determine what terms will be used before they are included in terminology tools. This can be a challenge when there are multiple acceptable technical translations in Arabic for a term, or if an Arabic word has been recently introduced in an industry. The best Arabic translators will share information about terminology choices with their project manager or the client.
- Proofreading and editing skills
While proofreading source content is not always part of the formal translation process, Arabic technical translators should recognize when there are problems with the source material. The subject-specific knowledge possessed by Arabic translators serves as a quality control step before and during the Arabic technical translation process.
Arabic Technical Translations
Arabic technical translations must be executed by experienced translators with a thorough understanding of specific technical fields. Arabic technical translators carry the responsibility of communicating complex information with absolute precision, ensuring an accurate and concise rendering of the source content into the Arabic language.
Arabic technical translations are required by a wide variety of technical fields, including:
Science and Physics
As with medical translations, each of these fields makes unique demands on technical translators. Not only must technical Arabic translators use appropriate terminology, they must also understand the basic concepts behind procedures, science, laws or regulations required by each project. Whether they are translating a scientific report, operation manual, patent application, or other technical information, Arabic translators must translate such information using clear, understandable language.
Effective Arabic technical translators should be credentialed with certifications, accreditations, or advanced degrees appropriate to their field of expertise. In addition to appropriate education, Arabic technical translators should have solid experience in the chosen technical subject area(s) and be equipped with the latest English-to-Arabic dictionaries.
Many technical Arabic translation projects are quite large, containing many instances of similar or identical phrases and terms. In order to ensure consistent, accurate, and efficient translations, Arabic technical translators should use translation memory (TM) tools to leverage as much previously translated content from client-specific glossaries and terminology databases.
Find more Arabic translation and localization resources in our translation blog:
- Arabic Website Translation Best Practices
- What are the differences between Arabic languages?
- Arabic Translation and Localization Challenges
- Arabic Translation Best Practices for Hotels
- Translation, Arabization and Advertising Copywriting
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