Advertisers receive guidelines on translating

A new National Media Council initiative has warned advertisers to be more local with their language.  The Council’s guidelines now stipulate that the language of advertising shall be either Modern Standard Arabic or the local colloquial dialect, Emirati Arabic.

Executive Regional Managing Director of Leo Burnett Kamal Dimachkie said “this is not the only place in the world where use of language is regulated” with this being just another step in a series of initiatives launched by UAE authorities to increase Arabic’s importance and visibility in daily life. This comes after the Arabic Language Charter promoting the use of Arabic in all sections of society, as well as moves taken by the government to make Arabic language teaching available in all schools, as well as enforcing Arabic as the sole language of public authorities and government institutions. 

The Arabic language represents more than just linguistics in the Arab world being closely bound to religious, cultural, social and traditional values. The new guidelines published by the National Media Council aim to strengthen and reinforce Arabic’s long standing importance as a world language against the influx of English language media that has been witnessed in the UAE, and can also be seen as an attempt to stem the tide against the erosion of traditional practices.

The Emirati advertising community has welcomed the move as “positive and mature” in its attempt to reaffirm the language’s rightful place in society as the sole official and national language. 

At Creative Word we work with advertising and marketing agencies ensuring that the correct language is used for advertising campaigns and marketing material, in line with cultural expectations and with the target audience in mind.  In an ever evolving space we offer the expertise to ensure agencies and companies get it right. Check out our marketing translation services pages for more details.


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