Arabic translation certifications can vary just as much as the kinds of dialects within each of the countries.
In addition to providing letters of authenticity, TranslateMedia is – in certain cases – able to certify Arabic translations by stamping them in-house before issuing the translated documents. Depending on the situation, we are able to have Arabic translations notarised – usually the case if the documents are going to be used for legal purposes in other countries.
Some countries operate a system of sworn translators, who are registered with and receive from the local courts a stamp on their translations or, alternatively, specific stamps and stationery to use on their translations. There are also situations where you may need an affidavit, or even legalisation of a translation from a government department.
Each situation is different, so it is always worth checking to see what sort of certification is required by the authority requesting the Arabic translation from you. If you explain your situation to us, we will be able to give you specific advice.
Our specialist teams of Arabic linguists are experts in their respective industries. With relevant knowledge and experience, they are assigned to work according to their specific skills sets.
And while the majority of our Arabic interpreters and translators are located in the Middle East, many of our mother tongue Arabic linguists are dispersed around the rest of the world as well. Supplemented by the global presence of our teams of project managers, we can offer you real advantages when it comes to tight turnaround requirements.
Part of the Afro-Asiatic language family, Arabic is the name given to the variety of languages that have descended from the Classical Arabic language of the sixth century AD. This includes the varieties of both spoken and literary Arabic, which are used over a wide arc of territory that stretches across North Africa, the Middle East as well as the Horn of Africa.
The literary language is known as Literary Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic. It is presently the only form of Arabic that is official, used in the majority of written documents as well as in formal occasions that include news broadcasts and lectures. This can vary from country to country, however.
Arabic languages are Central Semitic languages and are most closely related to Hebrew, Ugaritic Aramaic and Phoenician. The standardised type of written Arabic is distinct from, and more conservative than, all of the spoken varieties. The two types relate to one another in a state known as diglossia, in which they can be used side by side for different functions.
Some of the spoken varieties of Arabic are not mutually intelligible, either orally or written, and all of the varieties together constitute a type of sociolinguistic language. This means that, solely on linguistic grounds, Arabic is usually considered to be made up of more than one language, but in the mainstream is usually grouped together as a single language for religious and/or political reasons. If you consider Arabic as being made up of multiple languages, the number of languages can be unclear – the varieties of spoken Arabic forming a dialect chain with no obvious boundaries. If one does consider Arabic a single language, estimates show that it could be spoken by 422 million first-language speakers, which means it would be one of the most populous languages in the world. If you were to consider them separate languages, the one that would be most spoken is likely to be Egyptian Arabic, with 54 million speakers, which would make it more populous than any Semitic language.
According to census statistics, Arabic is just outside the top 10 most-spoken languages in the United States.
The modern written language, known as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), takes its origins from the language of the Quran – known as Quranic Arabic or Classical Arabic. It is taught in universities and schools, and it is also used to varying degrees in government, the workplace and the media. The two that are grouped together from the formal varieties are Literary Arabic, which is the liturgical language of Islam and the official language of 26 states. MSA primarily follows the grammatical standards that are used in Quranic Arabic and also uses a lot of the same vocabulary. MSA has discarded a few of the vocabulary and grammatical constructions that don’t have any counterpart in varieties of the spoken language, and has adopted certain new vocabulary and constructions in the spoken varieties. A lot of this vocabulary is now used to identify concepts that have come to prevalence in the post-Quranic era, particularly in modern times.
Arabic is the only surviving member of the Old North Arabian dialect group that was attested to in some Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions, which date as far back as the fourth century. Arabic is written using the Arabic alphabet, which is made up of an abjad script and, being written from right to left, is unusual when compared to European languages.
Arabic has lent many words to the Islamic world, in other languages like Persian, Somali, Turkish, Swahili, Malay, Kazakh, Bosnian, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi and Hausa. In the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a huge part of culture in Europe, especially in mathematics, science and philosophy. This has meant that many languages in Europe have borrowed words from it. Arabic influence, both in grammar and vocabulary, is seen in most of the Romance languages, particularly Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan and Sicilian. This is thanks to the closeness of Muslim Arab and Christian European civilisations and 900 years of Arabic language and culture along the Iberian Peninsula that is referred to as al-Andalus.
Arabic has borrowed words from many different languages, including Hebrew, Greek, Persian and Syriac in early centuries, Turkish in medieval times and contemporary European languages in modern times – mostly from English and French.
The sociolinguistic situation of the Arabic language in modern times provides a perfect example of the phenomenon of diglossia in linguistics. In Arabic, Arabs who are educated are assumed to be able to speak both their local dialect and their learnt Standard Arabic. When Arabs of different dialects converse – for example, a Lebanese and a Moroccan – many will code-switch from one to the other between the standard and dialectal types of the language, even within the same sentence. Arabic speakers will often pick up or improve their familiarity with other dialects via film or music.
Whether Arabic should be regarded as one language or many different languages is a politically charged debate, similar to the issue with Chinese, English, Hindi, Scots, Urdu, Serbian and Croatian, etc. The diglossia between written and spoken language is a complicating factor because a number of often divergent spoken forms can be united by a single written form that differs from any spoken varieties learnt natively. For reasons that can be political, Arabs will generally assert that they speak a single language, despite issues of incomprehensibility between the dialects among different spoken versions.