The catalyst for this dictionary has been my own professional need. Lecturing at university level then working in the international finance and banking sectors, and using the English, French and Arabic languages, led me to observe the lack of an up-to-date comprehensive, trilingual dictionary of finance and banking that would be equally practical for professional and academic use, especially in the knowledge that existing references were published decades ago. When lecturing at the University of Oran, Algeria, most of the references were in French and English while the lectures were delivered in Arabic or French. Alternatively, when lecturing at Yarmouk University, Jordan, the main references were in English but domestic sources were understandably in Arabic and the lectures were delivered in English to an Arab audience. Since joining the Arab Monetary Fund, I have noticed that a field mission to an Arab country could include an English speaker with absolutely no understanding of Arabic and with limited knowledge of French, while the second expert could be a French speaker with no understanding of Arabic and with limited knowledge of English and ultimately the final mission report had to be drafted in Arabic. While participating in the programme of the Institute of Economic Policies, set up by the Arab Monetary Fund, I observed that interpreters sometimes mistranslated into Arabic (e.g. “going long” for “long term investment”), while trainees would argue concerning the proper translation of the word “privatization”,Arabic being a rich language there are three possible terms depending on whether you are from the Maghreb, the Mashrek or the Gulf countries. The same could be said of other concepts such “assets” and “leverage”. These discrepancies were obvious when I participated, back in 1981, in finalizing “The Arab Unified Guide to Fiscal and Tax Terminology” published by the Council of Arab Economic Unity.
This situation convinced me of the urgent need for a reliable up-to-date working tool prepared by a professional with an in-depth knowledge of economics, finance and banking who was also equally fluent in all three languages
Furthermore, in recent years, international banking and finance have developed tremendously with new fields emerging at the forefront such as Financial Markets, Banking Supervision and Islamic Banking and Finance to name but a few. Simultaneously, international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, have come to play a dominant role in global markets and have developed their own concepts and jargon which, understandably, could not have been covered by previously-published references. Add to this the recent accrued world interest in Arab affairs.
This dictionary humbly attempts to fill these gaps. It will prove very useful for bankers, businessmen, government officials, researchers, negotiators, translators, interpreters, university professors and students of international finance and banking, be they English, French or Arabic speakers. For all the aforementioned, this dictionary will constitute a unique bridge between the English, French and Arabic languages in the field of finance and banking, especially when coupled with its twin French-English-Arabic and Arabic-English-French dictionaries. It is the result of several years of painstaking research, data collection, careful comparison of sources and practical experience. I feel privileged to have had the unique opportunity of producing such a valuable reference.
This project could not have been completed without sacrifice and especially without the support and help of my wife, may she find here the sincere expression of my appreciation, and my children, each one of whom, contributed in his own way, may they find here my deep gratitude. Hoping they share my satisfaction in the completion of this dictionary just as they shared the painstaking effort.