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Can Arabic Be Translated Into English? 

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Translating Arabic into English isn’t easy because a like-for-like transaction will often impact the meaning or tone of the content; it is also essential to understand the cultural and grammatical differences between these two complex languages.

However, capable Arabic-to-English translators can help, providing professional, word-perfect translation services using bilingual skills to ensure the finished text conveys the right message. Guru has more than 5,600 experienced translators specializing in a range of text or content types and with varied qualifications and language translation accreditations.

Why Is Translating Arabic to English So Difficult?

If you’re unsure of how to translate Arabic to English in Word, our advice is not to go down this route unless the translation is purely for personal use. This is because these two unique languages have countless nuances that make an accurate translation impossible without expert assistance.

For example:

  • There are multiple Arabic letters without any English equivalent. The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight letters, compared to our twenty-six, so a digital translation tool will struggle to understand these.
  • Some Arabic letters cannot be found in English but represent a sound. For instance, غ is replaced by the ‘gh’ spoken sound.
  • Grammatically, the same sentence in Arabic and English doesn’t mean the same thing. There is no ‘to be’ or ‘do’ verb in Arabic, so a translator will focus on the meaning of the content rather than copying and pasting the equivalent letters.

One piece of content written in Arabic might comprise 2,000 words and be translated into 1,500 words in English–this is because English is a far more direct language and shortens phrases and terms into fewer individual words. All these factors influence the quality and meaning of an Arabic translation into English and mean that the only way to achieve a precise, clear, and exact translation is to use a proficient translator who appreciates the intricacies of each language.

How Much Does it Cost to Translate Arabic Into English?

Professional Arabic translators on Guru charge different rates depending on their experience, language qualifications, and specialty areas. You might expect to pay a higher hourly rate to a freelancer who has legal knowledge and can translate detailed, legally binding documents from one language to another than for, say, a short piece of text.

How much does an Arabic translator make on average? Guru’s network of freelance professionals tends to make from $5 per hour for less experienced translators up to $15, which varies between locations.

As a global freelance platform, Guru welcomes qualified freelancers from around the world, so it can be extremely cost-effective to hire a native Arabic speaker from Morocco, India, Egypt, or the UAE. Independent translators also often set a minimum project fee (usually $25) which is a useful indicator if you have a rough idea of how long your translation project is likely to take.

You can enquire directly with any translator on the site and request a quote, review the freelancer’s profile and portfolio, or post a job specification and ask for pricing from interested freelancers who can meet your requirements.

What to Look for in an Arabic-to-English Freelance Translator

Like any profession, translators vary in cost, availability, turnaround speeds, specialisms, skills, and experience. The right translator for your project will depend on several variables, such as:

  • The nature of your Arabic content: Legal, financial, or contractual documents may cost more to translate due to the high technical accuracy required.
  • Your deadlines: If you need a translation completed very quickly, you might pay a premium for a priority project.
  • The content length: A longer-form piece of content such as a brochure, website, catalog, or book will require more hours to translate and may need to be broken into project stages if the text is extensive.
  • Your budget: You can select freelance translators based on any parameter, with junior translators or those with less experience on the platform usually charging lower hourly fees.

It is also worth reviewing a prospective translator’s profile, where you can see their hourly and per-project rates, past tasks, review ratings, and qualifications to decide whether they have the right attributes you are looking for. If in doubt, posting a job may be preferable as you can specify any essential criteria, such as a formal language qualification, and invite freelancers to send you comparable quotes.

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