Problems we face when translate English to Arabic
when we translate English to Arabic many questions arise regarding cultural sensitivities, syntax structure, and the formatting and calligraphic characters of each language. The process we need to follow when we translate English to Arabic is governed by the same standards that should be applied to any translation, but when we translate English to Arabic we face certain issues that do not exist when we translate between English and French or other Western languages. When we translate English to Arabic we may face some problems stemming from the differences in syntax structure between the two languages.
Examples of the problems we face when we translate English to Arabic.
The regular Arabic sentence structure is nominal and verbal: nominal sentences begin with a noun or a pronoun, where as verbal sentences begin with a verb.A nominal Arabic sentence has 2 parts: a subject (مبتدأ) and a predicate (خبر), which means we can find a complete Arabic sentence that not have a verb, while in English a sentence must have a verb: for example a complete Arabic sentence like الكتاب ممتع, which we could translate into English as “the book is interesting”. If we need to back translate English to Arabic we have two options: we can either adapt the English sentence into Arabic following the Arabic syntax structure and create a nominal Arabic sentence, or follow the English sentence structure and translate English to Arabic literally. In this case we can say الكتاب يكون ممتعًا; in this translation we followed the English sentence structure, which is Subject-Verb-Predicate. Although it is true that this option to translate English to Arabic is grammatically correct in Arabic, the translation does not sound fluent and natural in Arabic. Another difference between Arabic and English, which we need to pay close attention to when we translate English to Arabic, is the difference in structure between the Verbal English sentence and the Arabic sentence. The Verbal English sentence follows the Subject-Verb-Object structure: this structure exists in Arabic,but the more common Arabic Verbal sentence structure is Verb–subject–object. When we translate English to Arabic we are supposed to provide a clear and fluent Arabic text, which means it uses the correct and most appropriate writing style, and not just an Arabic text that is merely grammatically correct. If we need to translate English to Arabic, it is important that we stick to the most common, simple and fluent sentences, and not just to check whether our sentence is correct grammatically.If we take the following example: “the boy eats the apple”, and we need to translate English to Arabic, we can stick to the source sentence structure –Subject-Verb-Object-translating it as: الولد أكل التفاحة, in this translation we have kept the English sentence structure in the Arabic translation, which is grammatically correct, but in fact in Arabic we use the Verb-Subject-Object structure rather than Subject-verb-Object, which does not sound natural or fluid in Arabic, because its usage is limited to rhetorical purposes, i.e., to place emphasis on some act or action. The correct approach on when we translate English to Arabic is to use the Verb-Subject-Object pattern and translate the sentence indicated above as: يأكل الولد التفاحة which sounds clear, straight forward and natural in Arabic.
Considerations to take into account translate English to Arabic
Many considerations need to be taken into account when we translate English to Arabic, in order to provide a natural-sounding, fluid Arabic text. We also need to pay attention to the post-translation step and review the final file format, which could be affected due to the differences in calligraphy between the two languages, especially when we use translation tools like Wordfast or Trados.