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5 Fundamental Questions of Arabic Website Translation that You Must Consider

Posted by Ariel Duong on July 21, 2022.

The need to localize multilingual content on the website is growing exponentially, especially with Arabic website translation since Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.

So to tailor the dynamic Arabic online content to the right viewers, you should think carefully about these crucial questions before deciding to carry out any Arabic website translation.

1. Classical, Modern Standard, or Specific Dialect for Your Arabic Website Translation?

Western linguists categorize Arabic into Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.

The Arabic used in the Quran is known as classical Arabic, and it was spoken between the time of pre-Islamic Arabia and the Abbasid Caliphate. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) substantially maintains the grammatical norms of Classical Arabic, as does most of its vocabulary.

While all Arab nations utilize Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in publications and books, each of them has its unique Arabic dialect. And a number of regional dialects of Arabic are not always mutually comprehensible.

Here are some common dialects and where they are common:

Dialects Countries and Places
Levantine Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan
Gulf Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
Maghrebi Morocco
Hassaniya Mauritania
Egyptian Egypt
Sudanese Sudan
Yemeni Yemen
Hijazi Saudi Arabia

Therefore, you should pay attention to the target audience and adapt your Arabic website translation to their widely-used language type.

 

2. Does Your Web Content Management System Support Arabic?

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Right-to-left (RTL) and left-to-right (LTR) text directionalities are both present in bidirectional text. Due to the Arabic language’s distinctive writing system, Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic are all right-to-left scripts. However, people might take it for granted that their website content management system can handle the bidirectional text for Arabic website translation.

If this is not managed properly, we might encounter incorrect reading orders for numbers, truncated letters, flipped quotation marks, and the most serious problem is incorrect letter connection.

Moreover, Arabic characters are broader and shorter than Latin ones, which may pose certain problems with Arabic-localized web pages. As a result, menus and page headers frequently need to be horizontally reversed (mirrored) in order to increase usability and conversion.

If your website doesn’t support Arabic, it might require technical work on the part of developers to make sure the Arabic translation is shown and designed correctly.

 

3. Arabic Translation for the Numbers on Your Website?

Which would you prefer, Arabic or English, if the website had data with tables and charts containing measurements and prices? Your choices will determine whether to convert the numbers from English to Arabic (Hindi System) or vice versa, but doing so will take time and effort if you make the incorrect assumption.

If the information and figures will be included in your Arabic website translation, you must know the below facts:

  • The numerals in Arabic are Hindu-Arabic digits since they were brought over from India. They are also written and read from left to right.
  • The numerals 0 and 1 through 9 are represented by 10 symbols, or digits, in Hindu-Arabic: ٩ ٨ ٧ ٦ ٥ ٤ ٣ ٢ ١ ٠. These ten digits are used to create every other number, just like in English.

Both Arabic and Hindi numbers are acceptable in Arabic writing. So, you might consider the more suited option for Arabic translation depending on what and for whom the website is intended.

 

4. Do You Need Mobile Version For Your Arabic Website?

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Mobile networks have played a significant role in delivering the dependable connectivity required to support commercial activities since the establishment of COVID-19.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, there were more than 300 million active mobile internet users in 2021, and by the end of 2022, 50% of the population was expected to be using mobile devices (GSMA, 2022).

As digital connectedness is anticipated to be even more important for both MENA individuals and businesses in a post-pandemic society, it is crucial to have Arabic-language mobile websites if you want to target the Arab nations.

Your Arabic website translation and design should be created with the mobile user in mind and offers quick and simple access to excellent content.

 

5. What About the Cultural Aspects of Arabic Website Translation?

In terms of culture, religion, and history, the Middle East area is generally conservative and sensitive society. As a consequence, some topics about politics, religion, declaring your atheism, etc. might not be suitable for Arabic-speaking customers or markets.

Making a bad first impression on your audience is the last thing you want to accomplish. And here are some cultural points that you must know when working on Arabic website translation.

Arabic Cuisine

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Due to the close ties between Islamic traditions and Arabic culture, Arabs avoid eating pork, marine creatures without scales, and alcohol. Then, it might not be suitable to depict a pig as the majority of Arabs do not consume it.

Although Arabic culinary culture and cuisine are fundamentally the same, you should try to avoid mentioning prohibited foods. At the same time, you can contrast the dishes from the target market for your website with those from other similar places to learn more about Arabic cuisine and have the best Arabic website translation.

Arabic Mosques

Mosques are revered as holy places, and entering one is subject to severe regulations. Among these are the rules on photographing or filming people within mosques, the prohibition against males wearing shorts, and the ban against women wearing sleeveless or short-sleeved gowns.

You might risk offending your visitors and losing prospective customers when providing images or inappropriate language that does not conform to the local customs and traditions above. The information of Arabic website translation ought to be user-friendly and suitable for your intended audience.

 

To Sum Up

These 5 questions should become a preference when you aim at translating the right content for your Arabic website and you can find more insightful tips on website localization in our White Paper.

But to ensure that your website is found, viewed, and understood by your target audience, choosing the right translation partner to localize your website will make a significant impact.

GTE Localize, with native Arabic linguists and years of experience, can promise the best Arabic website translation services at the lowest possible cost. We have expertise translating a range of Arabic literature and our subject-matter localization experts can handle every aspect of a website.

So get in touch with us immediately for a 1-1 consultation and a free test.

arabic website translation