Arabic Translation: How to Succeed in the Arabic-Speaking Market

Arabic Translation: How to Succeed in the Arabic-Speaking Market

Arabic Translation: How to Succeed in the Arabic-Speaking Market 4355 3062 Sergio Guillén

How to Transmit Your Brand Message Using Arabic Translation

The stable economic growth of the Arab world combined with a significant increase in the number of Arabic speakers online is a factor to be considered when reviewing your next business translation and localization project. A high-quality, culturally-appropriate Arabic translation is the key to your startup’s success in this market.

Understand the Arabic-Speaking Market

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the fastest-growing regions in economic terms. The World Bank reports its growth in GDP to have soared steadily over the past 20 years—from a little over $970 billion in 2000 to $3.276 trillion in 2017. MENA countries represent a great opportunity for any business that strives to expand globally by offering a growing consumer base and profitable trade opportunities that leading companies have already taken advantage of.

The successful penetration of the Arab market lies in unlocking its potential by approaching it in its own language. Arabic has moved to the fourth position of the top ten languages used in the web as per the Internet World Stats—just behind English, Chinese, and Spanish. Still, there is less than 1 percent of Arabic content online, which can become the competitive advantage for your startup.

Offering the right products in a ripe market niche using the customers’ own language is the path to successful product positioning and establishing your brand in this market. As smartphone and internet usage, in general, gather momentum in the Arab world, now is the right time to invest in Arab digital marketing.

With the help of professional Arabic translation services, your startup will be able to harness the potential of the Arabic-speaking market by presenting a customized product that enhances the customer experience and offers added value.

Choose Your Language

Before kickstarting your Arabic translation and localization project, you need to consider that there are over 20 countries that speak Arabic. Each country has its own vocabulary with its specific stylistic and grammar peculiarities making it a separate language of its own.

Localizing to all of the specific dialects of the Arab-speaking market is not a viable option for most businesses, let alone for a startup. So, what do you need to do? Pick the right Arab dialect to localize your content to depending on the product you offer.

According to a MultiLingual article by Benjamin B. Sargent, your business strategy can evolve around two main concepts in choosing the language for your translation and localization project:

  • Use Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as a single language to convey basic information about your product/service/brand. MSA is acceptable all over the Arabic-speaking market mainly for business-to-business communication but is no one’s mother tongue. Hence, it fails to convey emotions, style, or “local flavor.”
  • Choose a national language from the most lucrative Arabic-speaking market that you are targeting. If you target high-paying customers of luxury products, you can select a Saudi-styled option typical for the Gulf countries. In case your brand is more entertainment-oriented, Egyptian Arabic will be a more appropriate option to convey your message to the right target audience.

Once your startup enters the market, you can use the potential profit for your next Arabic translation and localization project targeting to add a few more local languages and expanding your reach in the region.

Pay Special Attention to Layout and Design

One of the possible difficulties your company may face with Arabic translation is the language’s right-to-left orientation. Quite often, such bi-directional languages can pose translation and localization problems in case your provider lacks proper software to address the process. This can affect the time and overall cost of the project.

To avoid possible constraints, you need to go for a design that allows flipping the language with no further difficulties. Plan the layout with the possibility of incorporating more symbols of the translated version as bi-directional languages often tend to be longer (in terms of words or sentences) than English.

Make sure to select a translation partner that has the necessary linguistic and technical skills to deal with Arabic translation. Pay special attention to the design and layout of your texts and insist on extended QA to guarantee that they match the cultural preferences of the region you are targeting.

Strong cultural awareness shall be implemented in any Arabic translation project to make sure that your target audience properly understands the message sent by your company. You need to discuss all your concerns with the translation agency that partners with you, so that you can find the optimal solution.

The open exchange of information is crucial for the success of any translation and localization project. You can prepare better for your next meeting with your translation partner by reading our white paper on which are the 40 Questions to Expect from a Translation Agency.

Sergio Guillén

As the CEO of Accelingo, I believe in a globalized world where businesses flawlessly share their message across different cultures. I strive to empower startups to scale up globally and take over the world by providing compelling multilingual content that preserves their brand’s message and identity while increasing their reputation and visibility among global clients and partners. If you’re an ambitious startup hungry for international success, get in touch with me today and let’s find out how your startup can benefit from my expertise!

All stories by: Sergio Guillén