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I am in a somewhat difficult situation, and I am not sure if this is the right site to ask this; feel free to close this question if not.

There is a refugee from Syria who has been studying computer science in Syria before he fled. He was 2 months away from graduating. I am currently helping him to get back to his studies (in Germany). To avoid that he has to start all over again, I need a translation of his official University course descriptions from Arabic to German or English.

I have tried two normal translators, who where quite expensive. The results they produced were of very poor quality, since a lot of technical terms are used in these descriptions. I study computer science myself and am thus able to judge the quality of the translation. I am often not able to tell what they mean. I am pretty sure that this is due to the lack of knowledge of technical terms of the translator, not because of the document itself. They try to translate the terms, but it is not clear what they mean. For example "programming paradigms" was translated to "kinds of different types of programming languages", and that is one of the few I was able to guess what was actually meant. With this quality it is very unlikely that he won't have to start from the beginning again.

So how or where can I get a decent translation of computer science technical terms from Arabic for an application to university, so other people at least somewhat knowledgeable in the field understand without too much thought?

1 Answer 1

Find a local firm of patent attorneys and ask them what translators they use.

Patent specifications and patent applications are full of technical terminology. Holders of a foreign patent wanting to establish their rights in your country will need their patent translated into your local language. Patent firms routinely use the services of translation firms that specialise in translating technical documents. The translators don't guess at the meaning of specialist terms if they don't know the most appropriate translation --- they will query and check candidate translations.