Qualities of a Superb Arabic Translator

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If you’re planning a vacation or move to an Arabic-speaking country, you should seek out an Arabic translator if you don’t already speak the language. Below we’ll be discussing the most important qualities of an Arabic interpreter to help you find one you can trust.

If you’re searching for an Arabic interpreter to help you with document translation, it’s important that you find somebody with a keen eye. Many letters in the Arabic alphabet vary only by the placement of a dot or two but mistaking one letter for another can change the entire meaning of a word. Attention to detail is particularly important when it comes to the translation of a birth certificate or the translation of a divorce decree. One error in the submission of a formal document may lead to its denial.

Cultural Knowledge
There are many dialects of the Arabic language, with each region featuring its own unique phrases and colloquialisms. For this reason, it is essential that the Arabic interpreter you choose has a knowledge of the specific area you are visiting or living in. A translator who does not understand local slang and etiquette will likely be just as out of their depth as you are. Similarly, your interpreter should have at least a basic understanding of your culture and its vernacular. This will allow them to translate what has been said in the manner that is most accessible to you.

Cultural knowledge is particularly important in Arabic countries as many operate under Sharia law. Sharia law is infamously complex, and a tourist can easily find themselves on the wrong side of it. If your interpreter is familiar with Sharia law, they will be able to protect you from inadvertently violating it.


While an Arabic translator having many customers is generally a good sign, you want to avoid choosing somebody with limited availability. This is especially true if you’re searching for a translator who can help you with telephone interpretation. If you’re traveling for business, the time difference may mean phone calls coming in late at night or early in the morning. In such situations, you’re going to want a translator who is available outside of traditional working hours.

If you feel like an Arabic translator is asking for an unreasonable amount of money for their services, it’s probably because they are. A quality interpreter cannot be retained for cheap, but somebody who is truly trustworthy should not be unaffordable. As a non-local, you’re probably going to be a target for scams and your translator should be trying to protect you from them rather than participating in them.

If you don’t speak Arabic, it can be a challenge to determine the proficiency of an Arabic translator. Rather than searching for flaws in their Arabic or English, keep a mental checklist of the above qualities. If a translator values attention to detail, is knowledgeable about the culture of the region, and is willing to make themselves available at odd hours for an affordable fee, they are indeed a superb Arabic translator.