Re: Translation into Arabic

Subject: Re: Translation into Arabic
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- AIRMAIL -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 20:52:48 +600

> I am interested in hearing about your experiences with translating
> technical materials from English into Arabic. Can any of you give
> recommendations of firms who do Arabic translation and who can also
> advise about the culture of our potential readers? Please respond to
> me directly at the email address below. If there is interest, I will
> post the responses (or a summary) back to the list.

I would have replied directly to you, but since at least one person
responded to you on the list, I feel I must respond here.

First, what exactly do you mean by "Arabic culture"? That's a very
broad term and I suspect there is no such thing as an "Arabic
culture." The culture in Lebanon is nothing like the culture in
Tunisia or Egypt or Saudi Arabia--all Arab countries. There are also
Middle Eastern countries that are NOT Arabic. The mistake Garret
Romaine makes in his message is to assume that all Arab countries
have the same culture as Saudi Arabia and I can tell you that is an
untruth. The Saudi culture, rich and interesting as it is, stands
alone in the Arab world.

I lived in Lebanon and spent time visiting in other Arab countries. I
also lived in Iran (which is not an Arabic country, but is still
considered Middle are other countries such as Turkey,
Afghanistan, etc. I speak Arabic and Farsi and have knowledge of many
of the cultures in the Middle East. In Lebanon, women are a vital
part of the work force. They own and drive cars, they travel on their own,
they own businesses, and they have careers. Same for Egypt. Each
country differs.

Now that said, if you have any specific questions I would love to chat
with you. We can now take this off-line, but I wanted to set the
record straight that Arab does NOT necessarily equate to Saudi Arabia
and its policies towards women. Off-the-cuff replies like that only
serve to further a very negative stereotype.

Jane Bergen
janeb -at- airmail -dot- net


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