There has been a recent propagation of mid-range business in the affluent Middle East – namely in countries such as Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. This has seen the translation services industry boom beyond all comprehension, as young companies scramble for quality language services. Services conducted in Arabic have expanded beyond comprehension as the demand for website, marketing and product description translation in this part of the world has rocketed. Farsi, the most widely spoken Persian language and the main dialect of communication in Iran, is the next language to experience this sort of expansion and it is down to the growing fame of Iran in a modern business context. Iran has dwindled on the margin of the East and West business love affair – watching on as its more prosperous Arabic neighbours enjoy sustainable development. The recent propagation of Farsi translation services can be credited to this unsympathetic approach. Western warfare in Afghanistan – a country possesses a noteworthy Farsi speaking population – has made Farsi translation necessary in Europe and the USA. Wealthy defence contractors who are forced to deal with local technical manuals and trade documents have constantly utilised Farsi translation. These unfortunate war-influenced methods of use have led to a subsequent wide-spreading specialisation in Farsi translation across many Western translation agencies and this has – in turn – led to a promotion of such services in order to satisfy trade in peaceful times (or at least peaceful areas). Essentially, there is an ease-of-access that exists because of military demands.
The whole process mirrors the actions of British businesses in the Eastern Bloc a few decades ago. Using a Polish interpreter at a Warsaw convention, a Czech cultural expert at a Prague exhibition or a Russian legal translator at a Moscow based meeting was a complete necessity for young British businesses venturing into Eastern Europe- but it was a process made possible by Cold War tensions. The same framework applies today in the Middle East.
It is always refreshing to see translation services – popularised by military means – utilised in peaceful environments. We can only hope that such processes point towards the true nature of language – a bridge, not a barrier, to other societies, cultures and peoples. Farsi translation services can act as a catalyst for change in Iran, allowing genuine investment from Western organisations. Good business relations generally lead to good cultural relations. Search more about interpreting agency.