HOC Blog

HOC New Translator Guide - Part 1 of 7

This guide is intended to help new and experienced translators and editors understand House of Content’s philosophy in Arabic digital content, and translation in particular.

Although this is not a translation course, it is intended to “train” translators on basic principles in translation. Part 4 of this series will focus on Arabic translation techniques, but the rest of the posts can apply to all language combinations.

We welcome your feedback at any time, as we are sure experienced translators and content specialists have a lot to add and enrich this quick guide.

HOC New Translator Guide - Part 2 of 7


This part deals with translation technicality.


B. Transcreation is (not) all about technicality:

Being gifted and talented allows you to venture into the the Arabic translation business, but it is not all that you need. You need to be aware of the techniques required, and to train yourself on them. Transcreation requires that you adapt your style to the required tone of voice, and select domain-appropriate vocabulary and expressions. You also need to adapt to the text type. Translating an article or essay is different from working on a brochure, a press release, or on product description texts.

HOC New Translator Guide - Part 3 of 7

This part deals with knowledge as a cornerstone in Arabic localization.


C. Transcreation is (indeed!) all about knowledge:

The most important misconception about translation is not attributing it to knowledge. Knowledge is with no doubt the only guarantee that you will effectively use your talent and techniques to meet the client's expectations, and House of Content's standards. You have to be knowledgeable in the subject matter, and this knowledge we are talking about is not only the general knowledge of the concepts and facts of the particular field, but also having a strong background in the Arabic translation standards and practices in this particular field. Readers should never feel that they know more about the subject matter than the person who transcreated the text they are reading.

HOC New Translator Guide - Part 4 of 7

This part offers tips particular to Arabic translation and localization.

Language notes

Arabic has always represented a major challenge to anyone working in translation. Not only that Arabic has a unique set of syntax and semantics, but even more importantly, because of the difficulties met when translating modern terms, whether in technology, tourism, fine arts, cuisine, business, and many other domains.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have time honored institutes that can govern the arabization of modern terms. The orphaned attempt to unify Arabic medical terms, back in the eighties, through the Unified Medical Dictionary, is a clear example of how such projects have negatively impacted Arabic translation, instead of advancing it.


HOC New Translator Guide - Part 5 of 7

This part deals with the most important quality of a good translator or editor: Being a perfectionist.


Being a perfectionist

Although our profession is a creative one, the demand for fast high quality translation services with turnarounds sometimes as short as a couple of hours is increasingly becoming the most prevalent feature of what we do. I can tell you from experience that this has cost us many great talents who simply could not cope with the new rhythm.

But the most alarming impact of this market change is even more dangerous: Many great talents started compromising quality in favor of deadlines.

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