3 Ways Your Language Service Provider Helps You Succeed in the Middle East

  |  January 24, 2018

What to look for in a language service provider for your Middle East translations.

As you prepare to expand your business globally, accurate translation is of vital importance. If your target market is located in the Middle East, partnering with a professional language service provider that fully understands your audience’s language should be a top priority.

Languages such as Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish use directional flows and unique alphabets. Only a certified, top-quality translation vendor can ensure your translation is correctly formatted and cultural nuances are addressed so that your intended message is easily understood by your target market.

Read on to learn how your translation vendor can ensure accurate translation for your business in the Middle East.

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How Your Language Service Provider Ensures Accuracy, Step 1: Understanding Formatting

While accurate translation is imperative to convey your intended message in the Middle East, it’s not only about translating words—accurate, effective translation must also include excellent formatting skills.

Translation between English and many Middle Eastern languages will involve text expansion or contraction. As a result, your final translated document will either include fewer or more characters, words, or white space.

A top-quality language service provider can help format all of your multilingual documents in applications such as InDesign and FrameMaker, along with tagged formats like XML or HTML.

Additionally, your translation vendor can also account for units of measure that are often included in instruction manuals or product datasheets. Because the United States is the only industrialized country today that doesn’t use the metric system, documents translated from American English into Hebrew, Turkish, or Arabic must be carefully converted to their metric equivalent.

How Your Language Service Provider Ensures Accuracy, Step 2: Understanding Languages

Your language service provider can only ensure accurate, top-quality translation by understanding your target market’s unique alphabet and directional flow.

This is especially the case for Middle Eastern languages, where different countries use different alphabets and writing styles. For example, while Arabic letters are written in a cursive manner, Hebrew letters cannot be joined.

Additionally, grammar, syntax, and punctuation rules will vary depending on language. A professional translator who understands the specific characteristics of your audience’s language can ensure your message is delivered clearly and accurately.

Not having a full grasp of your target market’s language in the Middle East can lead to confusion and a lack of trust in your brand, leading to a loss of sales and additional costs in professional retranslation efforts.

How Your Language Service Provider Ensures Accuracy, Step 3: Understanding Cultural Sensitivities

Regardless of your product or service, accurate translation is the only way your target audience can effectively connect with your message. However, a standard word-for-word translation isn’t enough, as different countries in the Middle East use phrases, words, or gestures that differ entirely from their American counterparts.

What works well for an American English audience may cause considerable offense in the Middle East.

For example, while a “thumbs up” sign represents approval in countries like the United States, England, and Australia, the same gesture is highly offensive in Iran. Only a language service provider that employs native speakers can ensure your intended message accounts for regional and cultural nuances and is clearly understood by your target audience.

At ILS, our extensive experience with Middle Eastern languages ensures utmost accuracy and top quality for your manuals, websites, marketing content, and other materials.