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See below, what kind of changes to the text might be expected for translations from German to Arabic or vice versa.
Translation from German to Arabic or vice versa entails certain changes in the resulting text. These changes are caused by the inherent differences between the languages. The following things in your order might be affected:
- The layout of the resulting text
- Time it takes to translate
- Translation complexity
Among other factors, these parameters can influence the final price as well. The layout factor is especially important to those, who are interested in our DTP (Desktop Publishing) services.
|Parameter||To German||To Arabic||Difference|
|Writing system||Latin (German alphabet)||Arabic (Arabic abjad)||Different writing systems: drastic difference|
|Characters per word (average)||7||6||Minimal|
|Text length (characters)||56% longer||36% shorter||Noticeable|
Text length and document layout
The main factors influencing the length and layout of the translated document are:
- Writing system of the target language
- Writing direction
- Word length
- Relative lengths of the texts
German uses Latin alphabet, whereas Arabic employs Arabic abjad. It may make the translated text shorter or longer than the original, and makes selecting the correct font for the target language essential. Given the same font size, Latin symbols are generally 67% larger than the Arabic ones.
German is read left-to-right, but Arabic — right-to-left. It means that, in the translated document, the order of the text and visual elements should be reversed. This is crucial for technical documents and visual instructions, and demands additional work from the DTP specialists.
Both languages have a similar average word length — 7 for German, and 6 for Arabic. Thus, the word length should not affect the layout.
On average, documents translated to German are 56% longer than source texts in Arabic. On the other hand, Arabic texts are 36% shorter than their German counterparts. It means that some formatting differences are to be expected in the translated texts. Please note, that the actual visual length is also influenced by the font used.
Depending on your needs, the word order might be rather important for the translation. Things like slogans and brand names may convey an entirely different meaning, if their word order is changed.
The standard word orders of the languages are different. Various sentence structures may still be possible, but they might have a different meaning or change their style. However, it must be noted, that German has a free word order. This implies that translations from Arabic to German will usually allow preserving your desired sentence structure.
Dialects and varieties
Arabic has 14 major varieties:
- Modern Standard
- Sanaani Arabic
- Northern Jordanian
It is essential for you to choose, which form or dialect to translate to. This is because each variety, from the point of view of the other types, can feel unnatural, misleading, or plainly inappropriate for the text.
If you are not sure, which form to choose for your document, the safe choice is the more widespread one, or the one understood by most speakers. For Arabic, it is the Modern Standard variety.
Translation complexity is partially dependent on how closely the languages are related. The further apart the languages are, the more time and effort it takes to express an idea from one language in another one. As a consequence, it affects the price and time it takes to translate a document between German and Arabic.
The languages in question belong to different families — German is Indo-European, while Arabic is Afro-Asiatic. It means that a relatively more skilled translator is needed for the job, especially if technical documents, e.g. patents, are in question.