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In which non-Arabic-speaking countries are the most Arabic translators found?
Thread poster: Stephanie Wloch

Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:45
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Feb 7, 2005

Hello! Seems a strange question, but today I've read news (in German) on uebersetzerportal.de,
Ronald K. Noble (Interpol) states that there are only 10 non-arabian countries who are able to analyse as a matter of routine informations in Arabian language.
I would like to know which ones.
I guess:
Turkey
Germany
France
USA ....

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-07 18:35]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
Interesting topic Feb 7, 2005

Tuliparola wrote:

Hello! Seems a strange question, but today I've read news (in German) on uebersetzerportal.de,
Ronald K. Noble (Interpol) states that there are only 10 non-arabian countries who are able to analyse as a matter of routine informations in Arabian language.
I would like to know which ones.
I guess:
Turkey
Germany
France
USA ....


I just read the article, which raises a few interesting questions. The "analysis of routine information" is, of course, for use in the war against terrorism. For those interested in the full story in English, here is a link http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,12168961%5E1702,00.html .

The real problem, of course, isn't really the "shortage of translators" referred to here, but the mindboggling amount of material that needs to be translated - thousands of minutes of intercepted phone calls, thousands of pages of books seized, letters etc.

With regard to your question, my guess is that the USA and France are definitely two of the top 10 countries mentioned. But it's hard to tell if they're referring to the actual number of translators, or the percentage that gets to be translated from the total amount of material.

It may have been useful if you had posted your message on the "Arabic" Forum here on Proz.
Regards,
Nesrin


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
Non-Arab countries with resident Arabic <=> L2 translators Feb 7, 2005

Greetings.

While my rusty German ability may cause some error, the Interpol official's comments in that cited German post relate to party-countries' abilities to process (scan, exploit, summarize/gist, translate and report) large volumes of source materials in the Arabic and to do that translation on a routine basis.

One might look at countries which have significant emigre populations that include native-Arab bilinguals and "other-than-native-Arab" bilinguals whose L2 is/was Arabic (i.e., Iraqi Kurds, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Armenians, and the like).

Accordingly, that list could include such countries as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and Denmark.

That said, an often-unmentioned, but significant, factor in each country, as well as for Interpol's purposes, is the matter of:

(1) processing a bilingual national/legal resident for the appropriate government's security clearances, since the majority of the material of interest to Interpol, et. al., involves classifed / politically-sensitive subjects, sources and collection methods. That process is complex, time-intensive and expensive.

Related to (1) is the matter of:

(2) establishing standards and procedures among member countries whereby the clearance by "country # 1" of a "country # 1 translator" is recognized and creditted by other party-countries to the degree that the same information can be -- appropriately -- disclosed and exchanged.

Interpol and a number of countries' national security organizations seem a "good long way away" from building that level of harmony need for international cooperation and especially, responsiveness by national and international bodies to terrorist threats and incidents.

HTH.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
(English Arabic,
Kurdish, and Farsi)
San Pedro, California, USA


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