Arabic spell check
Thread poster: Ziad Marzouka

Ziad Marzouka  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:55
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nov 16, 2005

Dear colleagues,
Recently, I have been contacted by a translation agency and they requested that the translation must be checked with an Arabic spell check software. To say the truth, I have never heard of any Arabic spell check software. Can anyone recommend any? Thanks


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Microsoft Office Proofing Tools Nov 16, 2005

Microsoft sells a proofing bundle for 40-some languages, including Arabic. Make sure you get the version that matches your Office suite version (e.g., "XP" or "2003").

The Arabic spell-checker in that bundle is ridiculously poor. When you use it, you will see what I mean. It is hard to believe that Microsoft cannot find a better provider.

Until a better software becomes available, Microsoft's offering is indispensable for professional translators. There is no way to provide translation service without running the spell-checker. It is simply not acceptable by any standard.

You need to use it with great caution, double-checking for errors that the spell-checker cannot correct for you.

[Edited at 2005-11-16 09:48]


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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 15:55
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Word SC Nov 16, 2005

I agree with Mr. Fuad. Microsoft offers a similar checker, but it's real poor.

You should have it already downloaded with your MS Office package, just activate it in the tool menu.

My guess is that your clients aren't really familiar with classical Arabic, and need you to use the SC so they can use it when finally checking your translation. If that's the case, then you'll have to find alternatives for all the words your spell cheacker wouldn't recognize. And this whole thing would be useless if your spell checker is customized to include words you already added to Word dictionary.

I'd suggest you tell your client in advance about the software you're about to use, and how good or bad it is with Arabic. You may even make a list of the words your SC wouldn't recognize although you're sure they're perfectly correct and send them to your client along with the document. Just tell them that they can google those words to know if they exist or not; no matter what Microsoft says

Good Luck


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Bright Bridge  Identity Verified
Morocco
Local time: 13:55
English to Arabic
+ ...
No Alternative! Nov 16, 2005

Ziad,
The only Spell Checker I know is that of Microsoft and it is usually embedded in the office package. I can't tell you how poor is it!
Unfortunately, no alternative is available as far as I know.
Nabil


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
MS Office Proofing Tools is not part of MS Office Nov 16, 2005

Dina Abdo wrote:

You should have it already downloaded with your MS Office package, just activate it in the tool menu.



nabil EL ALAOUI wrote:

Ziad,
The only Spell Checker I know is that of Microsoft and it is usually embedded in the office package.



MS Proofing Tools is not part of MS Office. It is a separate piece of software, which you will have to buy and install.

The spell checkers included in the MS Office package are limited to two or three languages that are assigned based on the local flavor of MS Office that you have. For instance, if you buy MS Office in Cairo, you will most likely get Arabic spell checking as part of the deal (in addition to English and, if I am not mistaken, French). To get it to work, you will only need to enable it (Start Menu | MS Office Tools | MS Office Language Settings). On the other hand, if you buy MS Office in the US, Arabic will most likely not be part of the deal.

The purpose of MS Proofing Tools is to allow you to supplement the spell checkers that are part of your MS Office installation with spell checkers for any language(s) you wish that Office supports.


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