First of all, my apologies to readers for being late with this post.
When I was at the University of Waterloo, I took a couple of Arabic language courses at Renison College. I thought it would be a good exercise to look up translations for some of the vocabulary I use at my job. This post includes some of the translations I was able to find.

Here is a list of water/wastewater vocabulary in Arabic, followed by a tip I used for the translating:

  • pump = مضخة
  • valve = صمام
  • pipe = أنبوب
  • flow = تدفق
  • tank / basin = خزان \ بركة
  • aeration = تهوية
  • blower = منفاخ
  • filtering = ترشيح
  • filter (n.) = مرشح
  • sensor = كاشف
  • membrane bioreactor = غشاء مفاعل حيوي
  • anaerobic digestion = هضم لا هوائي
  • biogas = غاز حيوي
  • electric motor = محرك كهربائي
  • actuator = مشغل
  • water = مياه، ماء
  • wastewater = مياه صرف
  • [for] drinking = للشرب
  • effluent = فرع نهر
  • acid = حمض
  • sludge = حمأة
  • desalination = تحليه المياه
  • BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) = الطلب على الأكسيجين البيوكيميائي
  • wastewater treatment = معالجة الصرف

Google Translate is a wonderful tool, but it is sometimes difficult to be sure you are getting the right translation in context. Two tips I've discovered to increase the certainty are to look at the names of Wikipedia articles in other languages (conveniently linked in the sidebar, as shown in the image below) and to do an image search once you think you have the correct term.

Example 1: finding the translation for "Acid" with Wikipedia

Finding terms in other languages using Wikipedia

Example 2: Image search for "pumps".

One thing I find very interesting about the Arabic language is its use of 3- or 4-letter root words that show up in different parts of speech. For example, the word for reactor (مفاعل), from "membrane bioreactor" above, uses the root fa-ein-la (ف - ع - ل) which belongs with the verb "to do" (فعل). A reactor is a place where things get done, so there's a certain logic to it.

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