What is translation?
Translation is the communication of the meaning of
a source-language text by means of
an equivalent target-language text. Whereas
Source text : original text
Target text: translated text.
Types of translation
There are so many types of translations: Literary
translation, Religious translation… and .one of them is
Scientific articles are packed with loads of scientific
terms. Translation in general is transferring the
meaning , but in scientific translation it is needed to
transfer the exact order of ideas, words, and to find the
exact translation for scientific
It is unquestionable that English–Arabic scientific translation
is increasingly becoming a topic of much concern and
importance today. Oil on the Arab side and technology on
the Western side contribute to this importance. This paper
highlights the problems that are likely to be encountered in
English–Arabic scientific translation and tries to establish
certain possible factors which may finally lead to a theory
of this sort of translation. It also identifies certain
differences that exist between scientific texts and literary
ones. The paper also proposes a model for English–Arabic
scientific translation in further attempts driving at a more
Requirements of Scientific
According to London Institute of Linguistics, to be a scientific translator one
1. broad knowledge of the subject-matter of the text to be translated;
2. a well-developed imagination that enables the translator to visualize
the equipment or process being described;
3. intelligence, to be able to fill in the missing links in the original text;
4. a sense of discrimination, to be able to choose the most suitable equivalent
term from the literature of the field or from dictionaries;
5. the ability to use one’s owns language with clarity, conciseness and precision;
6. practical experience in translating from related fields. In short, to be technical
translator one must be a scientist, or engineer, a linguist and a writer (cf.
Gasagrade, 1954: 335-40; Giles, 1995; Latfipour, 1996).
Problems facing scientific
However, a part from the cultural gap, the problem of
scientific translation from English into Arabic remains
mostly a matter of understanding and representing the
techniques, the processes, and the details which science
and technology involve. In this regard, Farghal and
Shunnaq (1999:210) state that “the major problem facing
translators at present is terminology standardization and
dissemination in the sphere of science and technology”.
“When it comes to Arabic”, they continue, “scientific
discourse is a translation activity, as Arabic is usually a
target language, and creation and reasoning are done in
What is terminology
Term: is used to refer to any scientific expression.
Word: smallest unit of a language which carries
meaning. Example: hour.
If there is no equivalent for a term and it can not be
translated, Arabization is a way of inserting a new
word inside Arabic language.
It is the translation of loan words into the Arabic
alphabet and some times adjustment of pronunciation
to suit the Arabic phonology.
Lap top =
Methods of Arabization
It is the literal spelling of the English term in Arabic
letters as it exactly pronounced
e.g: penciling =
It is the adaption of the Englisj term to Arabic
pronounciation, alphabet, grammar, by modifying its
pronouciation , changing the spelling of one or more
of its letters into Arabic ones.
e.g: oxidate =