Why Arabic to English translation is more difficult

Arabic to English translation is more difficulty - why?

Translation from Arabic to English is often thought of, among professionals, as being more difficult than translation from English to Arabic.

There are various reasons underpinning this view. One of these is the poor or inadequate command of the English language, which is the target language in this case.

If the translator is translating a text from Arabic to English while not being equipped with a good command and understanding of the target language, this makes his or her job quite difficult and the result will likely be a sloppy or poor translation of the original Arabic text.

Another reason is the lack of English language sense and instinct. Translation from Arabic to English is not only about having a great vocabulary or even holding a master's or PhD degree in Arabic to English translation.

For any Arabic to English translation to be rendered idiomatically and professionally, the translator has to have an English language sense or instinct. This is because Arabic translation is not one plus one equals two. It is far more intricate and complex than many people would think.

And the problem that is facing Arabic to English translation today is that not many translators do have this sense or instinct.

Failure to have the target language instinct is often the result of lack of exposure to practising the English language itself. Children who are taught English in their early years will likely later in life have a better sense of English than other children who were taught English in later education stages - excluding individual differences.

The more the translator has been exposed to practising the English language, the more qualified and equipped he or she will be when they translate a document from Arabic to English.

Exposure to English, the target language, is an essential trait of any genuinely professional Arabic translator.

Inadequate English vocabulary, lack of English language sense and instinct, and lack of exposure to English are key reasons as to why Arabic to English translation services providers would be more worried to render an Arabic text to English than an English text to Arabic.

So how to overcome these challenges:

1- Exposure

Any professional translator needs to be exposed to the language he or she is translating to: Listen to English broadcast, read English newspapers, read English books, speak to an English friend, etc

2- Develop the sense

The more you give to the English language the more it will give you. A native Arabic speaker translator? Then focus and spend more time with the target language. The more time the better and the easier to develop this sense of language which is essential in translation.

3- Expand your vocabulary

If you are specialising in a specific field of translation, be it legal, technical, medical or any other subject, then try to equip yourself with an extensive vocabulary - specialist dictionaries are a very useful resource in this case.

Finally, the harder you work on it the better the outcome will be.