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The Role of Culture in Translation

Say you are looking for legal translation in Dubai to convert some documents for a potentially lucrative deal for your company. Given that situation, you’ll certainly want to be clear and concise with conveying your intentions, not only to avoid committing a faux pas, but also to appear professional and show the level of standard you and your company adhere to. This is where culture plays a significant role in translating documents

According to Gideon Toury, translation is a kind of activity which inevitably involves at least two languages and two cultural traditions. This is the challenge that translators always have to overcome; how to understand the context and cultural implications of their source text, and finding a suitable way of expressing them into the translated text.

Culture and Context

legal translation dubaiCultural context is not limited to lexical content or intended meaning. It also considers the ideologies of both the source and recipient. It is also important to know what the source text is aiming to accomplish with the document, so that the translations come out as close as possible to the intended purpose. There’s also the matter of words, phrases, or idioms which often do not translate well in other cultures other than their source, or words that is unique for that particular culture and therefore could not be translated. These are just some of the things translators must consider even before they start working on the translated text.


In some cultures, a word can have multiple meanings; it all depends on the context the word was used. Without an idea of the proper intent, it can be open to misinterpretation. This is especially true when you have to go from one culture to another. A statement may have the best interests in mind, but mistranslation can render it useless, if not offensive to the recipient; a mild reprimand might seem like an ultimatum with the wrong choice of words. This could result in bad faith between the parties involved, if not cause a well-planned deal to be delayed or fall apart. Worse still, it may affect the business’ reputation, which no one certainly wants.

So rather than relying on simple translation apps and hoping for the best, seek professional help from companies like Front Line Translation for arabic translation services dubai. Their high-quality and precise translation services can help your business break through those communication barriers and head off potential problems, especially those of legal nature.

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