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And... one last thing!

Working in Arabic translation (transcreation) means that you are responsible for conveying what the author is trying to say, regardless to whether or not you agree with it. Transcreation specialists should never give themselves the right to censor or control the flow of knowledge and information. All of us will one day face the situation when we are asked to work on things with have strong feelings about, whether political, religious, or social. We may feel we need to reject the job, of course in a manner that do not cause damage to the company, but once we agree to work on something, we should exert the maximum offer to not let our personal feelings influence our professional transcreation.



Welcome to AL Arabic, the house of Arabic Transcreation Best Practices, welcome home!

It was by mere luck that I came across a page on Friends’ fictional character Phoebe Buffay on Wikipedia (Ok, I admit, I was searching for Smelly Cat the song, just for fun!). I looked at the page, and in one second, I decided to write this short post on the status of Arabic content online.


The question is not how to identify a gifted person, but how to give people the chance to be gifted.

Inspired by the Giftedness 2012 conference (The 12th Asia-Pacific conference on giftedness hosted by Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for the Distinguished Academic Performance), I would like to pose an important question to this blog reader's: How fair is the current structure of "giftedness" identification programs?This applies to the way most societies, including our Arab one, define giftedness influence performance even at the corporate level.

Summary: Acronyms and names of companies, projects, and entities should NEVER be translated. They should be researched.


The issue of translating names and acronyms may not be as challenging in Latin and Indo-European languages as it is in Arabic translation. There are many reasons for this differentiation, including (but not limited to):

  1. Sharing the same alphabet between most languages in these two large families of languages (Latin and Indo-European) makes names and acronyms easier to adapt.
  2. Historically, Arabic is not a language that uses acronyms. It is a descriptive language that uses long phrases to describe subjects.
  3. Not all sounds in Latin and Indo-European languages are available in Arabic, and vice versa, which sometimes creates endless possibilities when transliterating.
  4. Arabic does not have upper case and lower case letters, in other words, Arabic letters can be written stand-alone, which makes abbreviations challenging in this language.