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Kuwait saves $23m by amending translation error in construction specs

Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works has reportedly amended the translation error in a document specifying technical works, which had been in effect since 1987

Kuwait has amended a translation error, thus leading to millions in cost savings [representational image].
Kuwait has amended a translation error, thus leading to millions in cost savings [representational image].

The correction of a translation error in construction specifications has saved a Kuwaiti authority $23m (KWD7m) on two projects.

Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works (MPW) reportedly spotted the translation error in a document specifying technical works, which had been in effect since 1987. 

READ: Kuwait to launch three PPP projects in 2018

Erroneous translations of technical terms from English to Arabic were said to have caused a financial impact as well. 

Ghalib Shlash, assistant undersecretary for the ministry's construction projects sector, told reportedly told Kuwaiti media outlet, Al-Rai, that the erroneous item "concerned groundwater, and calculating the [...] water level on which concrete is placed". 

Expressing regret over the error, Shlash said that the incorrect translation increased costs, and was thus amended based on international specifications. 

"We discovered that the specifications in the English language were correct, but their translation and interpretation into Arabic was wrong," the official continued, according to a report by Alraimedia

Modifying the translation led the ministry to successfully save $23m on the first two projects implemented following the correction. 

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019