Impact of the Port Explosion on the Translation Industry in Lebanon

The Covid-19 pandemic in Lebanon is a crisis within a crisis. It occurred amidst a broader socio-economic meltdown that has shaken the country in recent months. This has affected all sectors, including the translation industry. Although the translation sector was already not in its prime, it was doing quite well compared to other industries during this sensitive period in Lebanon. I would also be remiss if I did not mention that translation services do not necessarily relate to any specific location, and therefore it has remained an active sector even during the worse of times. Freelance translators have, for the most part, kept busy.

Additionally, the translation sector in Lebanon depends heavily on foreign companies, such as foreign subtitling firms. This has traditionally provided good income for Lebanese translation companies and freelance translators. Some of the bigger translation companies in Lebanon include Racti Studios and SDI Media-Lebanon.

Lebanon is a country that consists of various sects and political factions. As a result, everything is controlled by the daily or monthly political changes and news cycles. This was especially true following the 17 October revolution, when people revolted against the bad economic state that the existing political parties caused. Many suicides occurred during this dark period for Lebanon, but that didn’t change anything.

The Port explosion is the latest human tragedy and crisis that has increased the suffering for the Lebanese people even more. More than 250 deaths and 7000 injuries, and a lot of physical, moral and psychological damage. As a natural result, the translation sector has been affected. Especially since the port area is a vital one, where many translation companies headquarters or branch offices are located. The good news is that, as previously mentioned, most Lebanese translation companies depend on freelancers and foreign subtitling jobs. So it is still active, although to a much lesser extent than the in the period prior to the port disaster.

Observing the calamity from a bombed out flat overlooking the port

Government offices have shut down, resulting in loss of income for translation companies

As I am a sworn translator and freelance translator, I work with many foreign companies. So my job as a freelancer is mostly unaffected by the current situation. The only exception to this are my jobs was my task as a legal translator-these assignments have been completely shut down since all governmental institutes are now closed because of the crisis.

It will take years to piece back the devastation, amid thousands of homes which were destroyed

The Languages of Lebanon

Lebanon is surrounded by several Arab countries including Iraq, Syria and Palestine. The official language in all of these countries is Arabic. But there are differences in dialect.

As a country that was once a colony of France, the Lebanese dialect is influenced by western languages. So we use many French and English words while speaking with each other. Unlike the Syrian dialect which is based more closely on the Egyptian Arabic dialect. As a result, the Syrian education system puts much more emphasis on the Arabic language. The Lebanese educational system is based around the study of French and English even more than Arabic.

Regarding the Iraqi dialect, it shares much more with the language used in Syria than that of Lebanon. They even use different words to express what we mean, and we may not understand even some words when they speak quickly. For instance, in Lebanon and Syria we may express the word alley as zokak or zaroba, while in Iraqi they say zanka.

In the translation industry, we use standard Arabic in our translation unless using the Lebanese (or other region-specific) dialect is specified.

Click here to find out more about English Arabic translation services.

About the Author

Hiba Bojaijy is a sworn translator who resides and works in Beirut.

Translation Services USA

Translation Services USA

According to the US Department of Labor, as of the year 2018 there were 76,100 translators and interpreters employed in the USA. And the job outlook for translation professionals is excellent with a much faster than average growth rate. But at $49,930 a year, the median pay scale for translators and interpreters is relatively low. Dreaming of becoming a millionaire? Don’t pick a career in translation. Freelance translators and interpreters can, however, make much more. And many people employed as translators can work out of their home, which is attractive to many people (like work-at-home-Moms).

Related Reading:

How to make BIG bucks as a freelance translator

Translation Companies in USA

USA translation companies, on the other hand, are making money hand-over-fist. Many of the biggest translation companies in the world are based in the USA. The top three translation companies in the world are all from the USA: Transperfect, Lionbridge and LanguageLine Solutions.

USA Translation Services Languages

Other than English, another language in the USA with a significant speaking population is Spanish.  It is estimated that there are over 40 million native Spanish speakers in the USA.

The United States is now the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a study published by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes.

With such a large Spanish speaking population, many businesses both inside and outside of the USA are targeting this huge market. They do so by translating website content, advertisements, marketing material, retail products packaging and much more into Spanish. This puts Spanish translation services in high demand in the USA.

As the world’s biggest economy, many US companies have large translation budgets. Tech companies, pharmaceuticals, automotive manufacturers and other industrial companies translate a wide range of materials into the world’s languages.

Best Translation Services USA

As of 2019, there are over 400 translation companies that are corporate members of the American Translator Association.  And about 300 interpretation companies that are ATA corporate members. GTS is a corporate member of the ATA.

Which USA translation services company is the best? The answer varies depending on your industry and requirements. Here is a list from B2B consultancy company Upcity of the Top 30 Translation Services companies in the USA. I am proud to say that GTS Translation is on this list!

www translation services usa com

There are a number of online translation companies that feature the word USA in their company name. This does not indicate any official affiliation with the US government nor any endorsement as such. These companies use USA in their company name for SEO purposes or to encourage buying based on patriotic sentiments. Some of these companies include ASTA USA Translation Services Inc. and Translation Services USA LLC.

Certified Translation Services USA

Many people want to live in the USA and become US citizens. But the path to getting the coveted green card may be long and arduous. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires lots of paperwork and any associated foreign documents must be translated to English. If you are applying for US citizenship, you may want to seek out a USA translation company to do the translation work, especially a company that guarantees acceptance by the USCIS.

If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English. (from USCIS website)

Arabic Translation Service in USA

The US government, through its military and various intelligence branches, have in recent years ramped up their demand for Arabic translation services. This was due to the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the increased potential of radical Islam terror that the USA has been faced with. USA intelligence and security agencies like the CIA and the FBI have been hiring Arabic translators and interpreters for full time employment.

USA Vietnamese Translation Services

More than one million people in the USA are native Vietnamese speakers according to the Census Bureau Reports. This makes Vietnamese translation services a staple for some companies in the USA.

USA Translation Services Reviews

When selecting a USA translation agency, it is a good idea to get online reviews. Some of the leading review sites for translation companies include Clutch. Pickwriters and G2.