Translation and Localization in the Middle East

The Middle East has emerged as a booming e-commerce market in recent years. It is a commercial hub and has the regional offices of multiple international companies and Enterprises. The business to customers also referred to as the B2C market has also been undergoing an important shift as stated in the surveys and statistics. There are historical mergers and acquisitions in the Arab world happening every now and then. Translation and localization strategies have become vital. How has the world become a global village? There is the competition that has crossed boundaries and multinational companies rather strive to stay in the global market.

The process can get even more challenging for the Arab market considering its Arabic language i.e and its modification according to the people of the Middle East.

Table of Content

  1. 5 Tips for Creating localization Strategy in the Middle East
    1. Knowing the Target Audience
    2. Developing a Language-based SEO Strategy
    3. Visual Graphics Displays
    4. Website Localization
    5. Hiring Local Experts for Localization
  2. Final Words

5 Tips for Creating localization Strategy in the Middle East

Most of the localization efforts are being made for e-commerce businesses. As e-commerce and online trade have been in demand in the Middle East and post-pandemic, people of almost every region feel comfortable with the idea of online shopping. The vendors are minting money more than ever by offering their products online, and the main concern for translation and localization is e-commerce. which is also referred to as the amazon of the Middle East has been a key player in the e-commerce market for years now.

However, creating a global localization strategy for any business could be draining and tough. Business owners should be conscious while implementing their efforts and should make sure they know enough before targeting the Middle East.

5 Tips for creating a localization strategy in the middle east

Five tips to create a sound and effective localization strategy for the Middle East are suggested below.

1. Knowing the Target Audience

This is the prerequisite of an effective localization process. It is important for the makers and owners to know their target audience well before they start working on localizing their projects for a certain audience. When it comes to the Middle East, it is imperative to analyze certain factors.

The Middle East has been expanded into a huge geographical area and it is home to a diverse range of cultures and countries with different ethnicities. A lot of languages are practiced and spoken in the Middle East and this makes it crucial to conduct thorough research about the target audience.

The range of a huge number of cultures and cultural differences and diverse languages also lead to a variety of consumers and customers. The preferences and choices of middle-class people could be different than those of the middle class in Dubai. Therefore, rather than shooting for the localization process blindly narrowing down the options for the people according to their cultural and language preferences can help with the better launch of your localized products.

2. Developing a Language-based SEO Strategy

Though Arabic is an ancient language and also the official language in most of the countries of the Middle East. However, this language gas further three important variants which are

  • Classical Arabic:

This is the Quranic language and Quran has been narrated in classical Arabic. It is mainly used for reading and performing Islamic religious books.

  • Modern Standard Arabic:

This version is quite much in use in daily life by Arabic-speaking nations. The written and spoken versions are almost the same.

  • Dialectal Arabic:

All the dialects which are spoken among Arab-speaking countries and nations are named dialectal Arabic. There are a number of spoken dialects that are spoken across the regions. A few dialects are easy to understand whereas many of them are not.

Considering these main variants of the Arabic language, it is important for business owners to take it as a pro tip before setting an SEO strategy for the localization of the Middle East. Knowing the regional dialect for translation is mandatory. The localization strategy can only get successful when the brand and its localization are set and executed as per the area, its target audience, and local dialect.

3. Visual Graphics Displays

Images and visual graphics are another integral part of localization. So the people who plan to localize their products for the Middle East should be vigilant and mindful of the fact while localizing the graphic content that it has nothing to provoke the sentiments of the target audience. Multimedia is a vital part of the localization strategy and an excellent way to engage the target audience. Arab market is quite particular when it comes to gender, political and religious affiliations. Also, there are particular cultural aspects that are quite sensitive to Arab people, and offending them could ruin the whole localization effort.

Therefore, it is always advised and also an important tip to follow that before inserting any symbol, image, or picture in a localization project that has been created for the Arab audience, you need to ensure with the native speakers and Arab nations if it contains any controversial content or graphics. It is extremely vital to get your content and visual effects evaluated by the native speakers and people who live there before a final go-ahead.

4. Website Localization

As the UAE and other parts of the Middle East have been home to a lot of major e-commerce and successful markets, therefore localization of your website should be your primary focus while targeting the Arab audience. It is one of the quickest ways to engage and tempt Middle East consumers. As they are quite fond of online shopping and if the products are showcased well with the proper and relevant details in their native languages, there is a high chance that the consumers don’t buy from your website.

As per the common sense advisory, 56.7% of consumers who come from the Middle East are of the view that they prioritize the information in their language even before price.

So taking this tip and following it tells us that creating localized content for the website can fetch more traffic and can also help for a wider reach.

5. Hiring Local Experts for Localization

This is a pro tip of localization strategy in the Middle East and you can thank for it later. A local team of localization experts can save you much hassle and petty issues which may make you to and fro during the whole process. Who would know about their language, culture, and religion better than a native speaker?

You can either outsource the project to a localization agency or can hire a team of experts to work with you on your project. These are the people who are also well aware of their markets, market and business norms as well as the preferences and choices that people make while making purchases in the Middle East. A foreigner and USA companies can never go underneath or observe those layers which are important to invade to play with the minds of the customers.

Final Words

Translation and localization in the World and the Middle East could be challenging and tough. The official language in most of the Middle Eastern regions is Arabic and Arabic is a tough pick to translate as well as to localize. However, the selection of the right and expert localization people with the help of the following important tips can make the whole process easier and smoother.

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