Translation musings: Arabic on the web

May 1, 2014 | Translation

www imageAt First Edition we translate to and from most of the world’s languages. Our own top five most translated are English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. But these don’t represent the most spoken, which are Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic.

Interestingly, despite Arabic being the 5th most spoken language in the world, less than 1% of internet pages are in Arabic. There have been historic difficulties with limited fonts and scripts, as well as the current issues around censorship, income and computer access. And English is still the most frequently used language online, despite the native languages of the majority of users (click here to find out more about the language of Twitter!).

However, there are many people who believe that having your website translated into Arabic can be highly beneficial. Take a look at our own Arabic pages to see how just a simple text-based page can look. As with all languages, it is extremely important to understand and respect the cultural differences and sensitivities. It can be alarmingly easy to cause unintended offence or confusion and so the translation should always be carried out, and where possible checked, by a native speaker of the particular area for which the text is aimed. It is also important to remember that you may need to do some localisation as well as translation and don’t forget the SEO!

If you are thinking of translating your website – into Arabic or any other language – take a look at our website page.


Thanks to Translation Excellence for the original inspiration and information.
Image credit: ilco @