Monday, November 18, 2013

Why do some parts of names get translated but not others?

I know I have talked about this stuff before, but this really does drive me batty:
Mr. Saleh, known by his nom de guerre Hajji Marea, was the head of the Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), which unified several armed groups in 2012 around Aleppo and led a rebel push to seize control of several of its suburbs.
"Towhid" (توحيد) means "union" or "unification." If you are reporting on an organization called "Liwa al-Towhid" ( لواء التوحيد ) and you decide to tell English speakers what the name means, why the fuck would you just translate the first word of the name and leave the second one in Arabic?!?! If you translate the whole name it would be "The Unification Brigade" which happens to work nicely with the second half of the sentence where the author explains that the brigade unified several armed groups.