Arabic Translation

General Translation Difficulties Faced by Translators

The basic purpose of language is to communicate with other people. Without such purpose, there would be no languages. A good translator should be familiar with the culture, history, and beliefs of both source and target languages. If the translator is not fluent in both languages, his success in translation will probably be threatened. Below is a set of challenges faced by translators in general.

First: Language Structures

Each language has its own structures. Structures of language are closely related to the accuracy and simplicity of translation. When language structures are simple, translation becomes easier. A translator must have a deep understanding and knowledge of structures of both source and target languages ​​so that he can translate without confusing their structures.

Second: Language Idioms and Expressions

Expressions and idioms are phrases that cannot be translated using normal dictionaries, regardless of their accuracy and professionalism, as they are related to the culture and traditions of native speakers of language. A translator must have a thorough knowledge of these idioms and their equivalents in the target language to which they are translated. There are some idioms and proverbs that seem easy to translate, but they indicate other meanings and have certain equivalents in the target language.

Third: Compound Words

A compound word consists of two or more words, but their overall meaning does not reflect the meaning of each separate word. A translator should study compound words and their types in both source and target languages in order to succeed in translating them correctly.

Fourth: Words with No Foreign Equivalents

Some languages may contain words which don’t have equivalents in other languages, the matter which, in turn, is one of the major obstacles and challenges faced by translators as they will need to find an alternative to these words to introduce the desired meaning. Alternatively, they can make a small note to indicate such words and how they relate to the culture of the source language.

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