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Red Sea Humour – A slide show


Click on the photos to pause!

Red Sea Translation – a Response to Covid-19

Red Sea Translation – a Response to Covid-19

The Red Sea Team was on lockdown!

Though continuing to work on projects remotely, the mood was somber at our home offices spread across our different countries.

As the news constantly bombarded us with infection and death statistics, the group’s founder, Adel, decided that enough was enough – and proceeded to lighten the mood by passing fun projects to team members to work on.

We worked on humorous images and inspirational quotes to distract our friends and associates from the barrage of pandemic panic messages. From translating popular Arabic humour to English, to translating a popular and dramatic Arabic song and producing a video with the lyrics, the team had a lot of fun.

Here are some of our attempts – enjoy!

The Court Song by Kathem Al Saher:

And more to come!

Suggestions for new fun material to translate  as community projects are welcome!

Watch Out for the Latest Interpretation Scam – UAE

Watch Out for the Latest Interpretation Scam – UAE

With Covid-19 panic shutting down economies in countries worldwide and millions of workers in lockdown or quarantine conditions, scammers are stepping up their attempts to fleece professionals, taking every opportunity to shake their victims down.

This time they’re getting hungrier – and bolder.

The latest attempted scam involves impersonating ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Drilling Company) and requesting quotations for interpretation and translation services. ADNOC logos and letterheads are being brazenly used along with official looking RFP documents.


Official looking document with ADNOC logo


Of course, when someone at our online office saw an RFP email from “ADNOC”, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity for members of the Red Sea team or our partners. It looked too good to be true – and experience has taught us that if something looks “too good to be true”, it probably is!

So we took basic precautionary steps:

STEP 1: Who was the email actually from?

In this case, it was a dead giveaway, the email came via zohomail, using an address from a .com site, not an authentic ADNOC website.

STEP 2: What website was the email coming from?

The responses were to be sent to the same email at the site impersonating ADNOC using the same cheap .com site:

Checking for ADNOC’s website, we verified the correct website:

Of course, the fake site, was set up to redirect directly to the legitimate ADNOC site – but that is a simple, easy trick any website administrator can do.

Moral of the story? We have to keep our wits about us and check and double-check any attractive offers. Failing to do so means, at worst getting scammed – and at best, wasting valuable time.

INDISPENSABLE – THE ART OF TRANSLATION IN THE U.A.E. /الترجمة.. فن لا غنى عنه في الإمارات العربية المتحدة


(Arabic Translation Below)

What images or thoughts does the word “translation” conjure up? For most of us, it’s images of embassies, academic certificates, marriage certificates and so on.

However, in the global hub of the United Arab Emirates, the word begins to widen in scope: literature, websites, contracts, news articles, meeting agendas, training courses – these are the images that now come to mind. Translation seems to touch every facet of life here.

Seen in the light of everyday life, translation in the region begins to experience a shift from a routine commercial activity into a complicated and essential art form that transcends words and permeates every facet of life. This includes providing a livelihood for many lifelong students of life – who have become masters in conveying meaning; from one language to another, from one culture to another.

UAE is more than a series of vast high-rise metropolises, it is a land of dramatic contrasts and rich cultural traditions further enriched by a wealth of different nationalities

Translations in the UAE are so much in focus, that academics have been launching a range of research studies on translation in the region. The following is an excerpt from one such study:

“Since the early 1970s, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has developed in full tact in all fields. It
has become one of the emerging hubs of international business and trade. The seven emirates are
now business and cultural centers in the region. With the influx of wealth and thriving
businesses, job opportunities have been created, attracting people from around the globe. The
number of nationalities and languages is remarkably high. Although Arabic is the official
language, English is also a language of business and everyday interaction. A considerable
percentage of locals and expatriates are bilinguals.
With the bilingual situation in the UAE, the need has arisen along the process of
development to have translators play the role of linguistic and cultural mediators. The translation
industry has flourished and translation activity has gained momentum in the economic and
education sectors. Talks and negotiations, documents, official regulations and announcements,
and certificates, all have needed to be translated from and into Arabic.”

One doesn’t normally expect news media to feature articles on topics such as translation. However, the significance of translation in the region is so weighty, that even mainstream media feature the subject:

“The UAE has an 85 per cent foreign population and while Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Other languages in circulation include Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Persian, Tagalog, Tamil and Urdu.

Often documents originate in another language but need to be translated to Arabic for recognition by the UAE courts. At Dub)ai’s courts alone, 257,960 documents were notarised last year – a 12 per cent increase from the previous year.” (The National

And business aside, man’s hunger for art and literature in the midst of a busy world have brought about a proliferation of literary translations, as evidenced by the Dubai Translation Conference, an international event with over 800 delegates from all around the world, over 200 speakers and over 30 different workshops.

And now, dear reader, we are making this an interactive post. We have opened up comments for your thoughts – what do you, the reader, have to say? What has been your experience with translations? Please see our comments section below the Arabic Translation:



الترجمة.. فن لا غنى عنه في الإمارات العربية المتحدة


ما هي الصور أو الأفكار التي تستحضرها كلمة “الترجمة”؟ بالنسبة لمعظمنا، تتوارد إلى أذهاننا صور للسفارات والشهادات الأكاديمية وشهادات الزواج وما إلى ذلك. لكن، في مركز عالمي مثل الإمارات العربية المتحدة، تبدأ كلمة الترجمة في التوسع ليمتد نطاقها إلى: أعمال أدبية، ومواقع إلكترونية، وعقود، ومقالات جديدة، وجداول أعمال للاجتماعات، ودورات تدريبية.. تلك هي الصور التي تتبادر إلى الذهن الآن. يبدو أن الترجمة تمس كل جانب من جوانب الحياة هنا


في ضوء الحياة اليومية، نرى بداية تحول الترجمة في المنطقة من نشاط تجاري روتيني إلى شكل فني معقد وأساسي يتجاوز الكلمات ويتخلل كل جانب من جوانب الحياة. ,هذا يشمل توفير قوت اليوم لكثير من الدارسين مدى الحياة، الذين صاروا أسيادًا في نقل المعنى من لغة إلى أخرى ومن ثقافة إلى أخرى

الإمارات العربية المتحدة تتجاوز كونها سلسلة من العواصم المتسعة ذات المباني الشاهقة، فهي أرض التناقضات المثيرة والتقاليد الثقافية الغنية التي زادت غنى من خلال ثروة بشرية من صحاب الجنسيات المختلفة

تُعد الترجمات في الإمارات العربية المتحدة محط اهتمام شديد، لدرجة دفعت الأكاديميين إلى طرح مجموعة من الدراسات البحثية حول الترجمة في المنطقة. فيما يلي مقتطفات من إحدى تلك الدراسات

 منذ أوائل سبعينيات القرن العشرين، شهدت الإمارات العربية المتحدة تطورًا ببراعة تامة في جميع المجالات. لقد صارت أحد المراكز الناشئة للأعمال التجارية الدولية. الآن صارت الإمارات السبع مراكز تجارية وثقافية في المنطقة. ومع تدفق الثروة وازدهار المشروعات، نشأت فرص العمل وجذبت الناس من جميع أنحاء العالم. عدد الجنسيات واللغات في البلاد مرتفع بصورة ملحوظة. ورغم أن العربية هي اللغة الرسمية، فالإنجليزية هي أيضًا لغة التجارة والتعاملات اليومية. هناك نسبة مُعتبرة من السكان المحليين والمغتربين تتحدث اللغتين. وفي ظل ثنائية اللغة في الإمارات، ومع سير عملية التطور، ارتفعت الحاجة إلى المترجمين ليلعبوا دور وسطاء اللغة والثقافة. ازدهرت صناعة الترجمة واكتسب النشاط زخمًا في القطاعين الاقتصادي والتعليمي. المباحثات والمفاوضات، والوثائق واللوائح الرسمية، والإعلانات والشهادات، جميعها بحاجة إلى ترجمته من العربية وإليها”


لا يتوقع المرء عادةً أن تعرض وسائل الإعلام مقالات عن موضوعات مثل الترجمة. مع ذلك، تحمل الترجمة في المنطقة أهميةً عظيمة؛ حتى أن وسائل الإعلام  السائدة تعرض الموضوع

“تبلغ نسبة السكان الأجانب في الإمارات 85%. ورغم كون العربية اللغة الرسمية، ينتشر النطق بالإنجليزية على نطاق واسع، وتشمل اللغات الأخرى المتداولة اللغة البنغالية والهندية والماليالامية والفارسية والتاغالوغية والتاميلية والأوردية


عادةً ما يتم إنتاج المستندات بلغة أخرى مع الحاجة إلى ترجمتها إلى العربية للاعتراف بها من جانب المحاكم الإماراتية. في محاكم دبي وحدها، تم التصديق على 257.960 وثيقة العام الماضي 2018، بزيادة قدرها 12% عن العام الأسبق 2017″. (صحيفة The National)


وبغض النظر عن المشروعات التجارية، أدى نهم الإنسان إلى الفن والأدب وسط عالم لا يهدأ إلى انتشار متسارع للترجمات الأدبية، وهو ما أثبته بالأدلة مؤتمر دبي للترجمة، وهو محفل دولي يضم أكثر من 800 مبعوث من جميع أنحاء العالم، وأكثر من 200 متحدث، وأكثر من 30 ورشة عمل مختلفة.


الآن، عزيزي القارئ، نحن نجعل من هذا المقال منشورًا تفاعليًا. وتركنا مساحة التعليقات مفتوحةً لأفكارك، فماذا ينبغي عليك أن تقول من جانبك كقارئ؟ ما خبرتك مع الترجمات؟

What Makes a Good Interpreter

What Makes a Good Interpreter

Interpreters rarely make the news – but when they do, it’s often for some alarming consequence. A case in point is the recent claim that an interpreter for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was incarcerated (“disciplined”) after negotiations with the US failed.

A more well known story doing the rounds is that of an alleged interpreting blunder that led to the decision to bomb Hiroshima in World War II.

However, interpreters do make it to the news in more positive and productive ways – and often we’re not even aware of it. Red Sea Translation’s Adel Alhaimi, a simultaneous interpreter, has appeared in news media interviews several times and his latest appearance was on the Abu Dhabi Sport  Live Channel, where he was interviewed as a member of the Abu Dhabi Chess Club.

As Adel was pointing out how sport serves a greater purpose than merely building muscles, for example by helping to develop social skills, I couldn’t help but reflect on how well rounded a conference interpreter needs to be in order to succeed in this challenging vocation.

Scholarly articles aside, experience in the translation industry highlights a number of qualities a good interpreter needs, such as:

  • Exceptional social skills (high social IQ)
  • The “gift of the gab”
  • Should be flexible and adaptable
  • Quick-thinking
  • Well traveled (essential for the cultural savvy that comes with exposure to different cultures and outlooks)
  • Well rounded – a balanced life style that includes sport and recreation
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Willingness to constantly learn and develop oneself
  • A sense of humour

In other words, a good interpreter, particularly in the conference/simultaneous field is one that strives to be fully human. This conjures up a sense of living life to the full.

But hang on…

Aren’t we all interpreters, one way or another?

Our very humanity calls on us to be interpreters at every level of life. We interpret every day: situations, facial expressions, voice inflections – collecting and interpreting a myriad of information bits daily – merely to exist and communicate in our complex world.

Here’s to good interpreters! Here’s to us all! Sure, we’re not all gifted with vibrant vocal registers, remarkable recall or a vocabulary that stuns – but as humans we owe it to ourselves (and our society) to work at being well rounded, well read and ever willing to learn!

Latest Translation Scam – How to Avoid Being Scammed!

Latest Translation Scam – How to Avoid Being Scammed!

Translation scammers are getting more creative day by day.

The latest scam, which (perhaps not surprisingly) seems to have its origins in Nigeria, is aimed at translation companies and works as follows (based on an actual case):

  • A respectable sounding client with an English name, using a U.S. based browser email, asks for a quotation on a lengthy text (in this example, 265 pages). In this case, the original text was to be translated from English to Arabic. An online check on the client’s name (recommended) produces no results.
Email from fake client who goes by the name of “Thomas Grey”.
  • After receiving a quotation, the “client” asks for a further quotation to translate the text into a rare African language. (In this case, Oromo, spoken in some areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria).
  • At just the right moment, a translator with an Islamic name applies for freelance work. His area of expertise? African languages, including the rare language in question. What a great coincidence!
Scam translator who goes by the name of Aminu Mohammed
  • Samples are obtained and the client is very happy with the samples, claims they are “perfect”.
  • The translation company requests a down payment to proceed.
  • The client sends “proof of payment” from a U.S. bank (naturally). The payment confirmation letter has a typo, and is post-dated to around the time of the first text delivery. Hmmm…
Fraudulent Payment Confirmation from Chase Bank
  • The translator of the rare language also requests an upfront payment, of a sizable amount, in order to proceed with the work. He highlights his high principles as a “devoted Muslim”…

Fake translator relying on his role as a “devoted Muslim”. 

  • The rest can be left to the reader’s imagination… in an ideal situation (for the scammers) the translation company, waiting for the large American transfer to clear, pays a sizable chunk to the fake translator (naturally, the “client’s” transfer is fake too) and the “client” and “translator” ride happily into the sunset, leaving the translation company to face the music (and to pay the genuine translator who by now will have completed  a sizable chunk of the Arabic text). In this case, the “translator” and the “client” may have been the same individual operating different emails.

In this instance, though seemingly brilliant, the scammers left too many clues:

  • Typo in the payment confirmation
  • Payment is post dated
  • No online presence for “client”
  • “Client” refused to respond to requests to share his telephone number
  • US based “client” used terms such as “alright” instead of “ok”  (British-educated Nigerians tend to use terms such as “alright”).
  • The providential appearance of the translator just at the right time – the saying goes “if something looks too good to be true, it probably is!”
  • A Google search on the project text showed it was borrowed from a 2010 academic article, freely available online!

How to avoid being scammed:

  1. Verify both client and translator
  2. Verify all payments. Ensure the client sends a payment confirmation directly from their bank. Where possible, request non-reversible payment methods.
  3. Verify the text by searching online
  4. Do not proceed with big projects unless the down payment has cleared fully.
  5. If something looks too good to be true – it probably is!
  6. Trust your gut feel – if something doesn’t “feel” right, don’t hesitate to investigate and (diplomatically) verify information.
Translation VS Interpretation: What’s the Difference?

Translation VS Interpretation: What’s the Difference?

Faced with the dilemma of the terms “translation” and “interpretation” often being used interchangeably in the Translation Industry, we have taken the time to clarify the words, especially as in some languages, the same word is used for both interpretation and translation.


This is the process of translating written text from one language to another.


This is an auditory process in which speech is converted from one language to another. There are many kinds of interpretation, but the ones we encounter on a frequent basis relate to events and fall into two major categories:

Consecutive Interpretation – In this process, the interpreter will stand beside the speaker and repeat each sentence or segment of a speech/course in the target language.

Simultaneous Interpretation – This entails a soundproof booth and sophisticated equipment connected to the main sound system. Interpreters work in pairs and take shifts to interpret a speech into the target language while the speaker is still speaking! Delegates who select to hear the speech in the target language (i.e. those who will not understand the language of the speaker) will receive the feed in the target language via a headset and receiver provided to them.


In the following spontaneous and entertaining video clip (filmed on site), Red Sea Translation’s CEO Adel Alhaimi explains the various concepts in greater detail.

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