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Words you hate to translateً
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Nov 20, 2006

Does anyone else find that there are certain English words that – no matter how often you've translated them – you still stumble over them again and again and again… and you're never really 100% happy with the Arabic translation?

I wonder if the problem lies with the translator, or with the limitations of the Arabic language, or the vagueness of the concepts in the English language - or if it's just all in my head???

These are the some of the words I hate to translate, in reverse order:

6) Combination
5) Online
4) Professional (adj + noun)
3) Community
2) Access

…. and the No. 1 word I hate to translate is….
1) Business

What are yours?



[Edited at 2006-11-20 12:43]


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree with you about those vexing and ambiguous terms Nov 20, 2006

Greetings... ahalan wa sahalan...

Agree with Nesrin's good comment about those vexing terms and their inherent ambiguity.

One major source of complexity / consternation when translating such English expressions into coherent and accurate (formal) Arabic is the wide range of ambiguity of each English term when such a term, as Nesrin mentions, is provided without a framing context or other reference.

Another vexing factor in translation is the saturation of text with

(1) adjective strings favored by engineers

and

(2) the streams of jargon, colloquialisms and acronyms in blurbs and articles produced by marketing and PR firms. While most of those expressions seem to enjoy a brief burst of hipness, they soon become cliches ("cutting edge, top drawer, world-class, best of breed, etc...) in their industries.

My two riyals' worth.

Khair, in shaa' Allah.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 23:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
My vexing words Nov 22, 2006

- Deliverables
- Input (when not مدخلات)

Regards

Ahmad wadan
English-Arabic Financial Translator
www.arablish.com/ahmad-wadan.htm


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And how could I forget this one... Nov 27, 2006

Approach

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Iman Khaireddine
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Adverbs Dec 20, 2006

I hate to translate adverbs when coming at the beginning of the sentence. Here are some examples:

- It’s an agonizing ten minutes before fire fighters get the all clear to resume rescue efforts. AMAZINGLY, they all manage to make it out in time.

- Construction on the Pentagon began on September 11th. REMARKABLY, exactly 60 years before the terrorist attack.

Is it only me?

Imane


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Ala Rabie  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:58
Japanese to Arabic
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*sigh* Dec 20, 2006

Nesrin wrote:
(...)
…. and the No. 1 word I hate to translate is….
1) Business

I hear you


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 23:58
English to Arabic
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Profile Dec 20, 2006

Profile too.

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Iman Khaireddine
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Just remembered... Dec 22, 2006

What about "discipline"?



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engMazen10
Local time: 22:58
Arabic to English
its my first post Dec 27, 2006

the most hated for me is
All scientific words only not more


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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:58
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Add "career" :-) Dec 31, 2006

Like in "career consultants" or "careers day" or "career planning".

Grrrr...

What we tend to do in Oz is look at how the "community" (al-jaliya al-natiqa bi-ihd al-lahjat al-arabia) not "al-mujtama' al-mahalli" would say it so that they understand it.

Community is really the winner:

"Integrating with the Australian community" (al-mujtama'a)
"Council invites the community to comment..." (al-sukkan al-mahalieen", "al-muwatining" "al-muqimeen fil madina" "al-ahali" etc.)
"community-based services" (al-khadamat al-ahliya)
"the Arabic speaking community" (al-jaliya al-natiqa bil al-Arabiya)
"community health centre" (al-markaz al-sihhi al-sha'abi)

I think it is not the limitation of Arabic as much as the fact that Arabic is richer when it comes to communal notions

But for careers, the use of word "mihna" has proven difficult, as for example "al-takhteet al-mihani" is not exactly a day at school when your teacher talks to you about becoming a welder instead of a supermarket shelver, is it? It has more official connotations in Arabic.

Imane, do you mean "discipline" as an academic subject, or as self-control, or as punishemnt? See, here again Arabic has a much wider choice of words (majal, iltizam, ta'deeb). As for "- Construction on the Pentagon began on September 11th. REMARKABLY, exactly 60 years before the terrorist attack" example - that's JUST BAD ENGLISH. Where is the verb in that sentence. So it isn't you, don't worry


Profile is a headache, I agree, Ahmed. As for the two other words, I suggest you get yourself the Ozzie "Dictionary of Bulls**t" (I am not joking) where all these nueve-business terms are explained in plain English.

Naz, try "business event" for a start I find "event" problematic, especially when you are doing a marketing spiel and don't want to sound like a public service pamphlet.


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 23:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
More words Jan 13, 2007

Enterprise
Corporate


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Lamis Maalouf  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
"Well" and "Now" Jan 13, 2007

Well and now are very easy to translate, right?

I don't thinks so. I just have to drop them when they don't make sense in Arabic. Some writers tend to start each paragraph with either now or well. Let me give you an example:
Now in his early published work Dr. X expressed skeptism about these facts.



[Edited at 2007-01-13 15:18]


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Alaa Zeineldine  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:58
Member (2002)
English to Arabic
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develop, development Jan 15, 2007

This term is usually translated into Arabic as طور تطوير, which is only one of several nuances of this word. This translation is especially deficient in reference to "developing a new product", "software development", and "developing an idea".

[Edited at 2007-01-15 14:56]


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Alaa Zeineldine  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:58
Member (2002)
English to Arabic
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Lingo Jan 16, 2007

Stephen Franke wrote:
(2) the streams of jargon, colloquialisms and acronyms in blurbs and articles produced by marketing and PR firms. While most of those expressions seem to enjoy a brief burst of hipness, they soon become cliches ("cutting edge, top drawer, world-class, best of breed, etc...) in their industries.

My two riyals' worth.


Hello Stephen,

Good point, but you missed the worst ever noun invented by technical marketeers, though they would never brainstorm without it (you don't mind my saying "brainstorm" do you?), the noun I mean is "value-add", it even has a plural form.

As you say Stephen, Khair insha-Allah.

Alaa

[Edited at 2007-01-16 19:18]

[Edited at 2007-01-16 23:32]


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Neamaat Shehatah
Egypt
Local time: 22:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Add more to the list Feb 14, 2008

Hiii, Nesrin!

Your topic reminds me with the term "feedback" which turned the Kudoz area upside down

Concerning mine, I feel like facing a bogle when I find very strange English compound nouns that, when translated into Arabic, have nothing to do with the concepts they refer to. Consider, for example, the term "wast canvas" . Ohhhh! God help us!





[Edited at 2008-02-14 23:48]


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