The Arabic Language
One of the official languages of the United Nations (UN), Arabic is spoken by around 300 million people worldwide and is the fifth most spoken language.
As a leading translation agency, we are proud to offer our clients the best in English-to-Arabic and Arabic-to-English translation services. Understanding the Arabic language’s history, breadth, and influence is integral to providing high-quality translations.
The flag shown above is The Arab League flag currently consisting of 22 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria (currently suspended), Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen – Arabic is an official language of these countries, but other languages will also be spoken.
History of Arabic
- Arabic is a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. The history of Arabic dates back to the 1st century AD or perhaps earlier, with the first clear evidence of Arabic inscriptions in the early 4th century AD.
- Classical Arabic, the language of the Quran, emerged in the 7th century and has profoundly influenced today’s language. Despite the evolution of the language, the Quran is still read in its original form, making Classical Arabic a vital component of the language’s identity.
- The language played a critical role in preserving knowledge from the ancient world, with Arabic scholars translating scientific and philosophical texts from Greek, Sanskrit, and other languages during the Islamic Golden Age (8th-14th centuries).
The Influence of Arabic
- Arabic has contributed to many languages worldwide. In English, words like “coffee”, “sugar”, “algebra”, and “zero” have Arabic roots.
- Its influence also extends to languages like Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Kurdish, Spanish, and Swahili, where many words have been borrowed from Arabic.
- Arabic script has been adapted for use in other languages like Persian, Urdu, and Malay.
- Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the standard and official form of the language used in the media, literature, and formal settings.
- The Arab world is linguistically diverse, with numerous Arabic dialects that vary from country to country and sometimes within countries. These dialects include Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Levantine Arabic, and Maghrebi Arabic.
- Arabic also has a unique, visually intricate script, which reads from right to left. This script is a significant part of Arabic calligraphy, a respected art form in Arab cultures.
Our Arabic Translation Services
Our professional translation services actively bridge the Arabic and English language gap, fully embracing the rich complexity of the Arabic language and its dialects. With experience in various fields, including legal, medical, technical, and literary translations, we can cater to your diverse needs. Whether you require English-to-Arabic or Arabic-to-English translation, we promise to deliver services of high quality and accuracy on time and on budget.
If you require Arabic for business, travel, or personal communication, it’s essential to be able to understand and be understood. Our translation services offer accuracy, cultural awareness, and a clear voice in the Arabic-speaking world.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.