Light reading : Technical terms - translate or not translate?

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Sun Aug 3 21:56:25 BST 2008


Borrowing words from other language is an option and it can be well
tolerated it it is an exception done occasionally, may be with the idea
that it can be very will replaced with a native Arabic word when a
suitable one is present. Otherwise, with the massive number of new terms
appearing every year, way may compromise the integrity of our language
rendering it a heterogeneous collection of badly coined words with no
connections to each other. 

Also, the common claim that English terms are "more obvious" than Arabic
counterparts that we should simply borrow the English one is a very
false claim based in the assumptions that every one knows the English
term (and that every one knows it really understands it linguistically
wise), which is very untrue. I'll give you a simple real example: I've
been seeing the word proxy transliterated into Arabic for years, and I
never happen to know what does it mean, until I encountered it in the
translation, then with some research I realized that it originates from
the legal term of وكيل or وسيط hence we now translate it as وسيط, now it
is a really obvious term that I bet every one can guess its technical
meaning with much little effort.

Regards,
 Khaled


On Sun, Aug 03, 2008 at 08:40:03AM -0400, Abstract wrote:
> Khaled,
> 
> Yes, that makes perfect sense, as many words in English have Arabic roots as
> well.  I believe it's common
> and no fault or weakness of a language to make use of some words from another. 
> However, I do suggest
> that classical Arabic be used as a Moroccan user may not completely get "Baas"
> because they use a combination of Arabic with French influence, but
> they do understand the classical Arabic term.  You ever tried asking for a
> mobile phone in the middle east?  There are 4 words
> for it, but everyone seems to understand 5elewi.
> 
> 
> On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 3:05 PM, Jad/Hakam madi <Jad at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> 
>     I'm not sure about Egypt but in Jordan Arabizi (Arabic Mixed with
>     English) is very popular and English is very popular, actually in many
>     cases people prefer to use English terms as they are used to it more
>     than Arabic ones, to sum it up, it's all about getting used to it
>     rather than understanding the meaning 100% .
>     for example in Jordan we call public bus a     although the Arabic
>     term been there for long time        but we still use the word    
>     even in some official documents and that's because we are used to it.
> 
>     So it's not just about translating a term but about using it.
> 
>     Now we are discussing Arabic translation issue in English :-)
>     Happy translation.
> 
> 
>     2008/8/2 Khaled Hosny <khaledhosny at eglug.org>:
>     > Nice article, but if not so much interest in case of Arabic translators.
>     > Arabic is a completely different language with a different script, using
>     > English terms as such isn't a viable option, transliteration is as bad.
>     > In the same time, you can't depend on the common usage because of the
>     > diglossa status, what works with vernacular Arabic isn't (most of the
>     > time) suitable for the written classical or modern standard Arabic.
>     >
>     > Regards,
>     >  Khaled
>     >
>     > On Sat, Aug 02, 2008 at 09:11:19AM +0300, Jad/Hakam madi wrote:
>     >> http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/33/1/
>     Technical-terms---translate-or-not-translate
>     >>
>     >> --
>     >> Your Freedom is worth more than you think. Take advantage of it while
>     >> you can.
>     >>
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>     >  Khaled Hosny
>     >  Arabic localizer and member of Arabeyes.org team
>     >
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> 
> 
>     --
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> 
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>     Skype: jadmadi
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-- 
 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localizer and member of Arabeyes.org team
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