Did you know that Standard Arabic is no one’s mother tongue?
Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – and the largest member of the Semitic language family. Its origins date back to pre-Islamic Arabia, until the revelation of the Holy Qur’an and the spread of Islam marked the history of this magnificent language from being a regional language, to becoming an international language.
But what is actually the Arabic language?
Referring to Arabic might be confusing. Actually, Arabic is not only a single language but rather a family of different languages.
Today, Muslims in the whole world consider Arabic as the language of the Holy Qur’an –which Western linguists have named Classical Arabic (CA). This classical language later developed into what we call Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and today it is the official language throughout the Arab world. It is the language taught in formal education settings and used for official documents, media, books, and most formal situations, like communicating among Arabs of different nationalities. MSA follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic and uses much of the same vocabulary, but with some adaptations to make it suitable for modern times.
However, Modern Standard Arabic is no one’s mother tongue. The spoken forms of Arabic vary widely, and each Arab country has its own dialect, which locals learn as their native language and use in their everyday life. These dialects and Modern Standard Arabic usually differ enough to be mutually not intelligible.
If you aim at developing important trade relationships with Arabic-speaking clients and companies, there are some things you should know. Localization is one of the most popular options for companies operating globally. As mentioned before, each Arabic-speaking country differs from all the others in many aspects, including language and culture. These factors need to be addressed because they can be the difference between resounding success and total failure.
Localization is the process of modifying and adapting your content and software to meet the culture, linguistics, and technical specifications of your target market. It differs from translation in that translation is the process of converting text from one language to another. It is only one aspect of localization. Content localization can show cultural sensibility and create more engagement. While the content changes, the meaning stays the same, without being inappropriate or perceived as “not native”.
5 Reasons why you should consider localizing your website.
Translating and adapting your content now is a long-term investment and a highly effective business strategy for the post-pandemic recovery. COVID-19 has brought the world to a general lockdown, making the ever-growing trend of online shopping stronger than ever. Customers’ needs are changing and many cultures are interacting remotely way more than in the past.
Moreover, businesses whose competitors are already localizing their websites and products simply can’t afford not to localize. If competitors are not localizing yet, being the first gives tangible competitive advantages:
- Access to global markets. You will reach new international customer bases while making your software available for multiple countries.
- Increasing sales. Think about it. When it comes to deciding where to spend their money, people are far more likely to spend their money with brands that speak their language, since it makes them feel much more comfortable and secure while dealing with your web page.
- Brand Loyalty. People are loyal to the brands they feel connected to. By creating localized content, you are showing your target market that you understand who they are and what they need. This translates into a higher level of brand loyalty, and a lower churn rate.
- Brand Integrity. Brand integrity is how consumers perceive your brand based on your content, marketing strategies, and even product packaging. Localization goes beyond translation to help brands avoid mistakes and maintain brand integrity across global markets.
- Reduced Customer Support Costs. When customers can easily find the information they need in a format and language they understand, they are less likely to require the help of your support team.
Your organization should not underestimate the power of servicing and selling to customers in their own language while the competition insists on speaking only English. Keep in mind the language of business isn’t English. It’s your customer’s language. And when it comes to Arabic-speaking countries, several languages are concerned and you must be aware of that.
Where is Arabic spoken?
Arabic is the official language in 25 countries. There are approximately 30 varieties of the Arabic language, spoken by more than 400 million people.
Here is a list of the most important Arab countries, ranked by GDP:
And we have only mentioned ten countries of the Arabic-speaking world!
If your solutions still aren’t localized in your customers’ native language and culture, you are missing a huge number of potential customers. We are ready to assist you by offering localization services tailored to your specific needs. Throughout the localization process, you will be able to attract and cater billions of potential customers, which will lead to an increase in revenue and will make your business thrive.