Tag: translation strategies

English to Arabic Translation

Google translate brings new meanings into the game of translation


Beware of Google translate or use it at your peril.

The other day I was translating from English to Arabic a press release. In the text, there was the construct Pancake Stall.


This is a place where pancakes are sold. I tried to get some help from Google translate to translate it. And here is what I got.


The word stall in English means Kishk which in Arabic has two meanings: a place where pancakes are sold and the second meaning is a food material from which you can prepare pancakes. To back translate what I got from Google translate into English is to have the following translation kishk pancake.

What is interesting in this translation is that I have one kind of pancake for a place where many kinds of pancakes are sold.

If you are interested in translation, I here put the Arabic translation for training purposes.


Looking into the English text and the Arabic translation, you may notice the translation problem associated with such a short text. But this is another story to be told in another blog.

But what you can take from this blog is that:

Don’t take google translation for granted. Or don’t take it at all.


A Life in the Caucasian Chalk Circle (CCC): The Translalor’s Dilemma


In the CCC

Goethe said, “Beware of what you wish for in youth because you will get it in middle life”. If I knew then what I know now, I would not wish to be a translator. To put it simply, “How many translator millionaires do you know?” To put it dramatically, why would someone wish to spend his life in The Caucasian Chalk Circle (CCC), where the writer and the reader keep pulling him/her in opposite directions, tearing him/her in half? Continue reading “A Life in the Caucasian Chalk Circle (CCC): The Translalor’s Dilemma”