Estimates suggest Arabic speakers are the fourth largest group of internet users, behind only English, Chinese, and Spanish. With over 300 million native Arabic speakers in the world, businesses that don’t use Arabic website translation to connect with users might be missing out.
Of course, some internet users navigate the web in their second or even third language. But not everyone has the necessary linguistic skills. What’re more, messages and emotive content often don’t make the same impact in a foreign language. With careful Arabic website translation, you can resonate with visitors in their own languages.
Tips for Arabic website translation
- Choosing the right Arabic dialect
Did you know there are around 19 varieties of Arabic? These dialects differ across regions. Some are mutually intelligible, while others are very different.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is a standardized, literary variety usually used in texts. MSA is often the most suitable choice for websites, offering wide accessibility.
However, there may be instances where regional dialects work well to attract the attention of customers in specific areas. If you’re unsure which dialect to choose, expert Arabic translation services can advise.
- Right-to-left (RTL) capability
Arabic is read from right to left (RTL). If your original website is in a left-to-right language, you’ll need to make sure it’s capable of handling RTL scripts.
This goes beyond simply adding text that’s aligned to the right, however. If you decide to undertake Arabic website translation, it’s important to make sure everything displays correctly, that the right elements are mirrored, and that the UX isn’t affected.
- Layout and expanded text
Translations won’t necessarily be the same length as the original text. This means you may have new, empty spaces or a crowded webpage.
It’s important to check that your design allows for these display changes. For example, if the text for your call to action is slightly longer, what happens to the button size? Does the text still display correctly?
- Image Selection
Responses to images are culturally specific. That is to say, an image may have very different connotations for people from different cultures.
This is something that you need to take into account when translating your website. Do your images depict topics that could be culturally sensitive? Are they relevant for your new audience?
This falls under localization rather than simple Arabic website translation. It’s best to consult an expert who can assist with full localization.
Adobe gives a succinct definition of typesetting as being “the way that text is composed using individual types — the symbols, letters, and glyphs in digital systems”. As they point out, good typesetting is invisible; bad typesetting draws attention to itself.
When it comes to Arabic typesetting, there’s more to think about than just RTL. The font should be easily legible, well-sized, correctly spaced, and compliment your website as a whole.
- Specialist Arabic translation services
There may be many Arabic speakers in the world, but not everybody makes a good translator. High-quality translation takes a deep understanding of language, culture, and translation techniques, as well as specialized knowledge of specific subjects.
Using non-professional Arabic website translations could be confusing for customers and even detrimental to your brand.
Future Trans – Arabic Translation Specialists
At Future Trans, we have over 25 years of experience in translation. We specialize in MENA languages and understand Arabic target markets.
Our team is made up of native-speaking translators, skilled IT engineers, and expert project managers who can oversee website translations and localizations of any size. Let’s discuss your next project.