Why Does Arabic Transliteration Have Serious Challenges for Practitioners?

Transliteration is a translation activity that focuses on the transfer of one language character to another language character. It can be said that this activity requires more workflow as the scope is not only about culture, but linguistics which refers to word units such as syntax and morphology. Arabic’s writing system is one of the most complex ones to handle. As a result, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is commonly used as standardization in written communication. Read on to find out the detailed reason why Arabic transliteration has serious challenges for practitioners. 

Various Dialects

Arabic is a massive language to be spoken globally. To simplify, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is used in daily life which has more than 25 dialects. On the other hand, different types of Arabic dialects can be parted into different classifications: Modern Standard Arabic, Quranic or Classical Arabic, and Colloquial or Daily Arabic.

Qur’anic Arabic is one of the imperiled languages used only for educating as well as rehearsing the religious texts in Early Islamic Literature. On the contrary, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is most normally utilized where it can be found in writing works, schools, media, technology, and so on.

These dialects for the most part do not accompany a standard structure. In this way, it is feasible to see a few words acquired from various dialects of the adjoining nations.

Complex Nature

The intricacy of the Arabic language causes the unpracticed translators to feel befuddled. Accordingly, it is extremely difficult to think of the right wording while at the same time doing Arabic translations. Capitalization is the other challenge then as this language does not have one.

Translators frequently blend a couple of letters to get a similar sound as in the source text due to the difference when working on Arabic to Latin transliteration. The essential fact is that many companies are growing in Arab nations. Regardless of how enthusiastically they attempt, translated names actually do not get a comparable inclination along with sound as Arabic forms. So, translators could even Englishise a couple of names, which leaves no appeal to the Arabic language.

Difficult Writing Format

Arabic follows the RTL writing format which means read and written from right to left. It will be different from the roman alphabet where they were most often written upward as they were composed on stones or tablets. To add, the RTL format is utilized broadly by Jews, Arabs, and Phoenicians.

Being essential for the most famous spoken language in the future, the writing and reading configuration of Arabic draws out its own difficulties for a few translators. Moreover, when it is tied in with flipping the writing format as well as organizing content from a LTR to RTL format.

Very Poetic and Figurative Languages

Arabic is a figurative and poetic language where several use figures of proverbs, speech, and different literary devices like similes and metaphors. Thus, adopting a word-for-word translation approach while doing Arabic translation would decrease the equivalence of the source text.

Another problem is, Arabic speakers more often utilize long sentences. Translation of such long sentences can be a challenge for a novice translator who is actually confused by every literary device as well as figurative language elements going on within the text.

Apparently, problems of translation from English to Arabic will remain a problem that will always be faced by translators now that these two languages ​​have a strong influence in the world. The most serious problems start from the writing system and figurative language, considering that they both have different cultures.

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