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Using diacritical marks for Arabic words translated into English
Thread poster: Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales
Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 3, 2008

The client of an agency that I translate and proofread for has told this agency that Arabic words transliterated into other languages must be wriiten with diacritical marks, e.g.,
Ŷund instead of Yund, the name Muhammad with a dot underneath the "h", etc. (sorry I can't write any more examples, I haven't any idea of how to get my computer to type the diacritics).

This is the first time that I've heard about this "requirement", and I'm wondering if anyone knows if this is the case or if there is a standard policy for this?

TIA

Liz


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
The European Commission recommends.... Jun 3, 2008

that foreign words and phrases used in English texts be italicised and with the appropriate accents. The exception to this rule would be words and phrases now in common usage such as ad hoc, per se, etc.

Personal names should retain their original accents.

Use the native form of geographical locations except where an anglicised form is overwhelmingly common.

You can download the style guide from : http://ec.europa.eu/comm/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf

Hope this helps....I find it invaluable for answering exactly this type of question.

paty


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
I have never seen it Jun 3, 2008

I have never seen diacritical marks used with Arabic words transliterated into English, at least not in the USA. In addition to being unavailable on keyboards, if present no one would know what they mean, so thus they would be useless.

If I were you I would clarify the reason for such requirement and explain that it may not be possible for you to reproduce such marks.


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Eman Riesh  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2010)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Have a look... Jun 3, 2008

though I'm not sure if this is what you need.

I keep those files to use when transliterating Arabic.

You can use the 'insert symbol' feature in Word's documents to add such letters, or even copy and paste.

http://www.mediafire.com/?3yabzycgiyz

http://www.mediafire.com/?jz1og11uznz

HTH

Eman


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Heather Shaw  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
Member (2008)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Site for downloading Arabic transliteration fonts Jun 3, 2008

There are many situations when it is required to use specific diacritical markings to differentiate between the Arabic letters that would otherwise be confused. This is particularly common in academic and religious texts. There are many different ways of transliterating Arabic words, so you will need to contact your client to verify their specifications.
The following website will allow you to download all the characters necessary for transliteration of Arabic words according to a standardly accepted academic style.

http://www.mcgill.ca/islamicstudies/students/arabic/

Hope this helps,

Heather Shaw


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 14:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
This is a questionof transliteration Jun 4, 2008

patyjs wrote:

that foreign words and phrases used in English texts be italicised and with the appropriate accents. The exception to this rule would be words and phrases now in common usage such as ad hoc, per se, etc.

Personal names should retain their original accents.

Use the native form of geographical locations except where an anglicised form is overwhelmingly common.

You can download the style guide from : http://ec.europa.eu/comm/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf

Hope this helps....I find it invaluable for answering exactly this type of question.

paty


I think the guidelines you speak of refer to languages that use the Roman script, or modified forms thereof. In the case of Arabic, this is an issue of transliteration, rather than a decision as to whether to retain letters with their original diacritics. This, I would suggest, is a whole different kettle of fish.


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 23:57
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
??? Jun 4, 2008

While ago, I had a job that I had to transliterate the Maori words (the native language of the first New Zealanders) into my Persian translation. But I had all the instruction about the pronunciation and so on. I believe you need to talk to your client, it's not fair if you are asked to do something beyond your working languages!

cheers
Atena


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Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all! Jun 4, 2008

Thank you all for your valuable and much-appreciated input. In the end, I've told the agency that I think if the client wants the diacritical marks in the Arabic words, the client should provide us with the words written as they want them to appear (after all, we're talking about a Spanish to English - not Arabic to English - translation), because these words would be written with the same diacritics in both Spanish and English. The helpful links for downloading these symbols should make it easy to copy whatever they write in the source text, if they decide that they prefer them written with diacritics.

In other words, the ball is in their court.

Thanks again!

Liz


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