What is Arabization?

Within the translation sector, the term ‘Arabization’ is used to refer to the process of translating an idea, concept or message from its original language, into Arabic.

This doesn’t refer solely to the translation of words (although words and language are the format used to express this interpretation) but more to specific concepts which might be at risk of misinterpretation between the two languages.

For instance, idioms, or local sayings, do not translate well from one culture to another, and must be tailored to fit the new audience, while at the same time remaining true to the original message.

This process of translating a ‘message’ from the source language into Arabic, is known as Arabization.

If you are considering using a translation provider for content which is intended for an Arabic audience, the following points will help you to understand the difference between a basic translation, and Arabization, and offer you a fresh perspective on choosing the best translation provider for your task.


Arabic Language and Translation

The Prophet Mohammad helped promote Arabic translations through his desire to encourage the spread of Islam.

In order to recruit new followers, Mohammad encouraged people to learn new languages, and translate his works so that those who spoke other languages, and followed different religions, might understand them.

Translation has played a vital role in the history of the Arabic culture, the spread of Islam, and interactions with the West.



As already discussed above, Arabization is the process of localizing a foreign language so that it can be appreciated within an Arab setting.

The original message is reshaped by experienced linguists, who fully understand the Arab culture, and who can translate an expression, idea, humour, or concept with accuracy and precision, so that the original meaning is transferred into the new language and culture.

Of course, there are some phrases which are transferable between the two cultures; ‘checkmate’ for instance, derives from the Arabic ‘shah mat’, and the intention behind the words can be understood by both cultures.

However, there are many more phrases which have no direct correlation between English and Arabic, and it falls to a translator to interpret the original meaning, then adapt it so it becomes relevant for an Arabic audience.


Effective Arabic Translation

The key to effective Arabic translation lies in the translation team’s ability to fully understand both the original language and culture, and the target language and culture. The greater their knowledge, the more effective, and accurate the translation.

The Arabic language is very significance-sensitive; understanding nuance, tone, and intention is vital in order to produce a successful translation.

Respect and understanding of the cultures which use both the target, and source language, are key to professional, comprehensive translations.


Arabization, Copywriting, Design, Translation and Localisation

Arabization is the most effective form of translation and localisation for an Arab market. Where possible, this should be performed by a native Arabic speaker who understands the alterations required to translate content for an Arabic audience.

Native Arabic copywriters, designers, translators and linguists are best placed to appreciate nuance within translated content, and are passionate about their language, culture and etiquettes, to the extent that this energizes content, and often leads to more successful marketing campaigns, improved web content, and original copy.

Localisation is far easier, and more up-to-date, when it is undertaken by native Arabic speakers who are well-acquainted with regional difference, and area-specific linguistic variances.


Selecting a professional translation company that can offer native Arabic speaking translators is a must, if you wish to have an effective, precise, and appropriate translation.

Images, colour, design concepts, and lexical choice, must be accurate in order to appeal to your target market, and encourage audience engagement. The quality of this interaction will depend upon your translation team’s ability to communicate your message, brand, and ideas to an Arabic audience. The translators, best placed to perform this role, are native Arabic speakers.

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