Working as a Islamic translator ?
Thread poster: Oum ayoub

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
Mar 10, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum,

I have a question for my fellow translators. May Allah protect you all.

I am a translator from Arabic to French since almost 8 years now. I translate Islamic books, fatawa, Islamic research papers, etc.

I am doing this job most of the time for free for the sake of Allah.

But, after all theses years, I find myself a little bit frustrated not to be payed, because it would help me to be more secure and to able to work full time in cha Allah.

I am wondering if is this possible to have a good pay in this particular field of Islamic translation, or there is no way to do so. I am ready to move to Golf area if needed. I am native French speaker form Canada. I have a Master degree.

A Islamic website from Saudi Arabia offered me 0.03 US$ each Arabic word lately, but I find that it is very little. When I sell my translations right now, I am payed 0.06 US$ for French words, so it is like 0.10 US$ Arabic word. This is more than 3 times the price that the Islamic website offered me. I have a little bit contract form them, but at least, they pay me better, so I refused the offer of the website. I like more to work for free and to choose what I translate, then to suffer from a so bad salary, and they do not guaranty that I will have documents to translate all the time.

Is there anybody who have some experience in this field? The website say to me that this is a very good price in this field !

Also, I have another question.

Is this a good idea to try to be a member of a professional association of translators ?

Thank you for your advices and your help.
Jazakoum Allahu khrair.

May Allah bless you all.

Wassalam
Suzanne Umm Ayoub


 

Sandrine Zérouali  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 06:28
Member (2008)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Answer Mar 10, 2016

Assalamoualekoum Suzanne,

It is appreciated to translate to the name of Allah, but if you need to earn some money, I advise you to work earning money in this field or others fields (accordings to your conviction).

I think that the Saudi Arabia wants to have a good translation for nothing that's why they propose such amount. In the translation world, you have to say sometimes "no" to such propositions till you'll find suitable one's. It requires patient.

You can send your CV to some Arabic channels, websites, organisations, translation offices...

Good luck!

Best regards,
Sandrine


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Islamic Translation Mar 10, 2016

As-salamu Alaykum, Oum Ayoub,

I will send you a private message regarding this topic, Insha'Allah.


 

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Mar 14, 2016

Wa alaykoum assalam,

Wa alaykoum assalam Sandrine,

Thank you very much for your reply.

I talked with other translators who are doing the same thing than me, I mean, who translate Islamic material form Arabic to French, and they said to me that 0.03 US$ per Arabic word is the normal price. Even, they said to me, it is less than that.

So, I think that I will continue to work for free and forget about being paid for now, since I am not willing to work for this ridiculous amount. At least, I can choose the books that I translate and I have no stress.

May Allah bless you
Wassalam
Suzanne Umm Ayoub


 

Zamzam Bayian
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 08:28
Arabic to English
+ ...
Patience Apr 19, 2016

Wa alayykum asslam,
At last, I found someone who has the same problem as mine.
I am an Arabic-English translator in the field of Islamic translation.
I am trying to establish myself in this field as well as earning a good income, but I cannot find any.
My advice is to be patient and keep working for yourself until the one in whose hands keys of sustenance, Allah, opens wide doors of mercy to you.
May Allah give you the best…amen.


[Edited at 2016-04-19 05:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-04-19 05:57 GMT]


 

TargamaT team  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 08:28
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Good to know! Apr 19, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum,

Personally I do not do any work for free, even for non-profit organizations, although most of the benefit from my translation work is re-injected in projects to help the community.

All these people telling you to work for Allah are underestimating the value of "work". My standard answer is: you should pay me normally and I decide what I have to do for the sake of Allah.

My advice is: Please do as any professional and work for your benefit and then decide what you want to do for the sake of Allah.

I can also advise you to contact French and English publishers who are seeking to translate novels, stories about the Arab world... You may contact them in serious book fairs, like London, Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi...

I will add you for Ar > Fr and Ar>En sources.

May Allah always guide us to the straight path!

Oussama


 

Zamzam Bayian
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 08:28
Arabic to English
+ ...
Good Advice Apr 19, 2016

All these people telling you to work for Allah are underestimating the value of "work". My standard answer is: you should pay me normally and I decide what I have to do for the sake of Allah.

Yes. I agree with you. (You should pay me normally and I decide what I have to do for the sake of Allah.)
thanks!


 

Abdelhalim Zeid  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 07:28
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Did Allah Ask for that?! Apr 20, 2016

Hi,

Did Allah tell you to work for free? Work means money! If you do not get paid, it is not a work. Most of the Islamic websites earn too much for the traffic they get. A lot of ads and pay per click and pay per view. So, why would they pay you too little or not at all?! Do not be used in the name of Allah. Please do not do this!

[Edited at 2016-04-20 18:08 GMT]


 

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
TOPIC STARTER
Patience Apr 21, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum

Thank you for your reply everyone of you, may Allah reward you all.

So, I am not the only one in this situation. Like Zamzam said

Lets be patient, until Allah open the doors of His Mercy in cha Allah. We do not know what He destined for us.

By the way, there is no problem to work for free and a lot a translators do it in this field. This is very common. I should not be frustrated, after all.

If nobody never worked for free for the sake of Allah, there were no Muslim in this world right now, because the Prophet (SAWS) and the companions where not payed, to start with...

Wassalam
Umm Ayoub


 

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
TOPIC STARTER
They do not respond Apr 22, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum

Sandrine said to me to send my CV to Islamic website, channels, etc.

I did, but they do not respond.

The problem in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other golf countries is that they do not use email...

You have to know someone who work for them that can recommend you...

I can try to find some contacts, in cha Allah, but I am afraid that they will offer me very little salary, like I have been offered lately (0.03$ per Arabic word).

If you look at the translations from Arabic to French from theses countries, you find that this is usually very bad and full of mistakes.

I do not know about their policies.

Wassalam
Umm Ayoub


 

Zamzam Bayian
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 08:28
Arabic to English
+ ...
Keep on Trying Apr 22, 2016

Sister Oum ayoub,
We work for free when we want to do so by ourselves.
Try to contact publishing companies, asking people to suggest you a good book for translation, and after translating some of it, send the sample to publishing companies.
Keep on inventing ways for introducing yourself to others.
And after all, you and I want, but Allah has kept the best for us.


 

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
TOPIC STARTER
Publishing houses Apr 23, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum Zamzam,

Thank you for your reply,

This is what I do, actually. I translate books after the recommendations of a sheikh, and I offer it to a publishing house. But, this is not lucrative at all, because I can work 2 or 3 years to translate a book, and I received few thousand dollars for the translation from the publisher.

I was wondering if there's another way to increase my salary. I thought about websites, but they even offer less than the publishing houses. I really don't know what to do...

May Allah bless you


 

Oum ayoub
Local time: 07:28
Arabic to French
TOPIC STARTER
Specialisation Apr 23, 2016

Assalamou alaykoum,

I am thinking right now to make a master from a Islamic university in order to specialize myself.

It seems that some organizations, like the King Fahd Complex, do not hire any translators in this field unless they have master or Phd from a Islamic university.

I do not think there is too much money to do with the editors in French, because it is very easy to find cheap translators. There are plenty of people in France and in Belgium who speak both language and who can not find any job because the discrimination of the Muslims in theses countries.

On the other hand there are a lot of translators also in Morroco, in Algeria and in Tunisia who do not find work because economical problems in theses countries.

Maybe that is why the prices are so low.

So I thought that if i became more specialized, I may have more chance to have a better salary.

What do you think ?

Wassalam
Umm Ayoub


 


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