The majority of clients won’t make the difference between professional work and a translation full of mistakes in the target language. This is simply because nobody would expect a university graduate professional translator to make mistakes in his/her native language. However, due to the complexity of Arabic grammar and its style as well as the deficiencies in some educational systems, it is often difficult to recruit professional native Arabic speakers.
How does it happen?
If we consider that the problem of hiring a professional Arabic native speaker is problematic, it doesn’t mean we accuse all professionals in the field. We don’t mean Arabic translators are unprofessional, either. It also makes sense to say that we are not advocating this position to show that we are the only people who provide high quality work. We agree with many language providers on the need to find a balance between cost and professionalism without compromising for quality. The point we are trying to make here is that it is in our interest to standardise the hiring of translations in order to protect the profession.
The problem is often noticed by those who handle Arabic proofreading jobs. You often fell you are dealing with a machine translation production, or an unrevised translation, in the best case. It is true that the morphological structure of English is quite problematic for learners. But, this should not be the case for university graduate native speakers. The type and frequency of mistakes raise the question: Who is responsible for this?
For whom does the bell toll?
It tolls for everybody. It is not the educational institution alone. However, as translation services providers, we should take serious measures to maintain a high standard of language production and translation output. Hence, from our side we need to employ high calibre translators and help those in difficulty by encouraging them to work with professional proofreaders. Instead of paying unnecessarily for special proofreading or retranslation, we would better avoid the unprofessional ones and give help to those who are qualified but less experienced. In a word, we need to adjust our recruitment procedures and methods when it comes to language pairs in similar situations.