Wednesday, May 10, 2006

and this over here is our arabic copy writer...

I met up with a friend of mine yesterday…this friend of mine happens to be the rarest of gems in our industry. Truly a precious stone not to be found strolling around the putrid lakes of media city.
This friend of mine is truly one of a kind because...he reads and writes Arabic perfectly. And…..wait for it…..wait for it… comes the best part….he’s a ‘conceptualiser’ as well! Cub scouts promise, I’m not lying.

Now how many agency’s can boast one of ‘em?
Yes we all do have those Arabic translators that are occasionally honoured with an invitation to a brainstorming session because they “know the culture”…However upon the end of this field day they then resume their droning existence as the cog in the agencys arabizing machine.

So the question is why do agency management insist on hiring translators over Arabic coneptualisers?
My humble guess is the following: 1 To start with, conceptualisers are indeed a rare gem…so coming by one is almost impossible.2 Insecure Creative directors that can’t speak a fu*king word of Arabic prefer it that way. 3 Agency’s would rather spend their buck on the tangibility of hard translated brochure copy instead of the intangibility of “Arabic Ideas”.

Not sure if that made sense

Though rational from a business perspective, I wonder how effective a creative, eloquent and charismatic English salesman would be if he had a translator by his side every time he knocked on someone’s door.

If most of us can’t speak a damn word of Arabic, do we really know how effective our campaigns are before we send out for colour seps?

Cue the chair spinning t*ser that insists that all ideas are universal “whot about Cog, nowone thaid a word in dat ad and it won a lion!Whot do you thay about dat!”


Anonymous Ish said...

I also think that translating from Arabic to English is also tough considering the richness of Arabic in comparison to the blandness of English.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thing is. An Arabic writer, who thinks and comes up with ideas and DARES to chase awards, doesn’t fit in the structured, bureaucratic, old-fashioned “creative” departments we have here. He simply takes the agency out of its comfort zone where Arabic writers only step in to adapt, arabize, rewrite (all nice synonyms for translate) ads, scripts and selling lines.

Believe it or not, there are Arab creatives who actually think and can come up with big ideas that are born in Arabic and stem from the soul and culture of the Arab world.

If only agencies could learn to embrace those Arabic speaking thinkers. Let them out of solitary confinement. Separate them from editors. Give them a brief. And see what they can do!!!

11:29 AM  
Anonymous S' said...

If you know of any of these Arabic thinkers and conceptualisers... please poin them out...cos the ones i have met only claimed to do so and when it came around to thinking in Arabic ... they turned themselves away.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Wal said...

Someone just passed this web site to me. I think I like it ;)
I joined my agency about 10 months ago, and all I have been asked to do is edit Arabic advertising or translate english.
I have never been given an advert brief. Just an advertisment and asked to change it to an arabic one.

I joined an advertising agency not a translation house and I know if I moved somewhere else it would not be better.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again welcome to the industry of egos and now english.

I guess we'll have to wait for an Arabic award at Cannes.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Ish said...

I'd say Lebanon have a pretty good shot. The work I have seen puts Dubai to shame. Then again they are not "an industry of English” building on what my anonymous predecessor clown said.

1:45 PM  
Blogger AD MAD said...

I stopped reading this post at "considering the richness of Arabic in comparison to the blandness of English"

11:29 AM  

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