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Top 6 Arabic Localization Tips For Your Business

Posted by Chloe G. on July 28, 2022.

The Middle East and North Africa are the largest Arabic-speaking populations that offer tremendous potential for the expansion of the global market. Many businesses are currently establishing operations in the Arab world using Arabic localization.

Arabic, one of the UN’s official languages and the oldest languages spoken today, is the main language in 25 nations such as Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, etc. Arabic is no doubt one of the most challenging languages to localize correctly. But there are more than 400 million native speakers globally, you might accept this challenge.

Here are top 6 Arabic localization tips that your brand needs to understand and prepare for your Arabic localization project.

Understand three main varieties of Arabic 

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The 3 main varieties of Arabic are classical, modern standard, and dialectal Arabic. Here are the details:

  • Classical Arabic (Qur’anic): The Qur’anic language, classical Arabic, is mostly used for reading and performing Islamic religious books because of its importance in terms of religion and culture.
  • Modern Standard Arabic: All Arabic-speaking nations use and understand Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as their official language. There is no distinction between its written and spoken versions, and it can be spoken as well as written.
  • Dialectal Arabic: The dialects that are spoken in Arab nations are referred to as dialectal Arabic. There are numerous spoken dialects of Arabic across the region. Some dialects may be understandable, whereas others may not.

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is often used in written materials and is also taught in schools/universities. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is also frequently used in Arabic localization and translation. The most effective strategy for reaching the most number of customers is to translate your content into Modern Standard Arabic. However, if you want to target particular locations, go a step further and concentrate your marketing and advertising efforts utilizing dialectal Arabic.

Arabic is an expressive language with a wide range of message-expressive options. With this language, “cheap” linguistic resources and machine translation are inefficient. So it is essential to stay away from these types of Arabic translation and localization.

There is a lack of vocabulary that is equivalent to Arabic in current scientific and technical industries. Therefore, it can be challenging to translate some computer or technical terminology into Arabic, a skilled linguist can develop original Arabic terms that precisely convey the original terms’ meanings.

If you want to get an outstanding and effective Arabic localization, you’ll need trustworthy local subject matter experts who are familiar with the target country and know how Arabic is used there. 


Know your target audiences when it comes to dialectal Arabic  

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As mentioned above, dialectal Arabic comes in various dialects. The Arabic language has nine local Arabic groups as the following:

  1. North African Arabic is the language of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
  2. Hassaniya Arabic is the language of Mauritania.
  3. Egyptian Arabic is spoken in Egypt.
  4. Levantine Arabic is present in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.
  5. Iraqui Arabic is spoken in Iraq.
  6. Gulf Arabic is the language of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E., and Oman.
  7. Hejazi Arabic is present in Western Saudi Arabia.
  8. Najdi Arabic is spoken in Central Saudi Arabia.
  9. Yemeni Arabic is the language of Yemen & southwestern Saudi Arabia.

Determining the regional location of your target audience is essential. Your localization strategy depends on the area in which you intend to promote your brand. If you use Hassaniya Arabic when your product is sold in Saudi Arabia, customers can not read the text due to the different vocabulary.

After deciding on the target audience and their favored dialect, you should work with professional Arabic translators to receive the best Arabic translation services, combining accuracy with careful cross-cultural adaptation for your Arabic localization project.


Use visuals carefully

Images and other visual components are excellent ways to engage your target audience, but in Arab markets, you will not want to give the wrong impression. When it comes to issues like gender, politics, religion, and sexuality, some Arabic cultures may be extremely sensitive. 

Before utilizing any kind of image, picture, symbol, or logo in an Arabic localization project, make sure to have it checked. For instance, in some Muslim communities, women are expected to cover their hair. Content with a woman’s short, exposed or ponytail hairstyle could be unacceptable in this market. In the Middle East, Brown is viewed as a comfortable color that is harmonious with the earth, and Red refers to danger and caution. To evaluate your localized content, you should always consult native speakers.

Successful localization of an Arabic project involves numerous factors. Only the very beginning has been reached! It’s critical to choose a localization partner who is knowledgeable about the relevant visuals, cultures, languages, and technical aspects.


Acknowledge cultural and religious sensitivities

Almost often, the religious roots of the Muslim-majority region are expressed in Arabic. For instance, this is evident in how they have adapted to various habits and lifestyles, they typically work from Sunday through Thursday but not on Friday and Saturday. Additionally, because alcohol and gambling are unacceptable due to their religion and sensitive traditions, you should use caution when using pictures, imagery, and even phrases.

It is a difficult process that requires work and expertise, therefore you need to find a localization partner who can give you skilled translators and effectively handle your terminology, visuals, and text. Arabic translation and localization can go smoothly with the right native speakers.


Remember the right-to-left layout

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The Right-to-Left (RTL) structure of the Arabic language will have an impact on the website’s user interface and content layout. For example, table columns must be arranged the opposite, and marginal visuals must flip.

This is hard to deal with elements including print layouts, online layouts, navigation bars, headlines, buttons, graphics, and any essential functionality. Always allocate more time at the beginning of a project to look over, plan, and deal with parts that may have issues during the Arabic localization. This will prevent future wasted time.


Notice Arabic expanded text

Arabic content often expands English text by 25%. Make room for this in your template so that tables, buttons, images, etc. have enough room to display. Localization testing is a critical phase in this procedure.

Before your content goes online, have an Arabic linguist review it to ensure that the text has been accurately translated and the layout is perfect.


Work with the trustworthy Arabic localization service company

GTE Localize has strong expertise in translating right-to-left (RTL) languages such as Arabic and offers adaptable and accurate Arabic localization services that meet your business demands. 

As one of the leading localization companies on, we have extensive experience providing top-notch Arabic translation services to assist foreign companies expanding into the Arab market. Our local in-country linguists have been through a comprehensive screening process and have in-depth expertise in numerous business industries.

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Your Arabic localization will be in good hands at a cost-effective price, prompt delivery time, and top quality with a lifetime warranty.  

Contact our team right away to get a free quote and 300-word test for your Arabic localization project today.

To build an efficient and smooth localization strategy for SMEs, just download our white paper here.