Top Tips for Translating Hotel Websites into Arabic

August 10, 2014 Heba Nady

In a previous blog, we outlined the Arabic Translation Best Practices for Hotels - related printed materials like menus and brochures into Arabic. This blog serves as a continuation and discusses the top tips for translating hotels websites.

The website is the online gateway to your property, and it is where travelers can find the information they want in their native language. A well-translated website can encourage online sales. Therefore, high-quality translation services are a real necessity for translating your website to avoid miscommunications and to keep the following into consideration:

Customize the Website Architecture and Layout

It is very important that you have your Arabic localization partner carefully examine the website architecture and layout and advise about the best methods for getting it localized into Arabic. There are several technical factors you need to consider in the process, and for Arabic specifically, the following are just three of the top things you need to take care of:

Right to Left layout: Since Arabic is an RTL language, it is very important to make sure that the website is internationalized and compatible with the Arabic directional requirements so you can flip the text, images and menus.

Text sanity: After translation, the website has to be carefully QA'ed both linguistically and technically, to ensure that all the text appears correctly with no truncations, no corrupted characters, all links are leading to the correct pages, etc...

Fonts: Some fonts that are not compatible with Arabic, cause letters to appear disconnected and in reverse order which makes the text unreadable. Additionally, because of the usage of diacritics for some letters, the Arabic text requires much more height than the English, so during QA the linguist should ensure that the text fits exactly into place.

Localize your Content Effectively for the Target Markets

Prior to translation, the Arabic localization team needs to carefully study your target markets and analyze the website content to have it culturally competent. You might need to take into consideration the following items:

Culture correctness: Make sure the imagery and text used is suitable for your target market.

Know your target locale: Are you translating the website for a specific Arabic country so you need to use certain terminology, or are you targeting all Arabic countries so you need to use neutral terminology?

Use Arabic calendars, numbers, etc.: The usage of numbers also depends on the locale you are targeting.

Use localized booking engine.

Holidays and promotions: Some Arabic countries have different holidays, for example: Spring holiday is only celebrated in Egypt, and each country has its own national holidays.

Optimize your Arabic Content for Search Engines

Many Arabic users search the internet using their native language, i.e. Arabic. Before users can understand the translated content of your website and see the products or services that meet their needs, they must be aware of the site that provides these solutions. Therefore, you have to create a strategy for coordinating translation and search engine optimization (SEO) to reach more users before rushing into finding a translator for your website. In this way, search engines would deem your website's content as more relevant to specific keywords entered by the user in the search bar than your competitors' websites.

To effectively translate your website while optimizing it so that it is easily discoverable, you certainly need a professional translation service provider who understands the specific language requirements and culture and incorporates SEO into your development process.

Further Resources on Arabic Culture, Language and Translation

Globalization Partners International (GPI) has extensive experience localizing marketing materials, technical documents, and large, scalable websites into the Arabic language. We have previously posted a number of useful guides for best practices in this area. Feel free to review our blogs that are particularly relevant:

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our language and technology services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs.

About the Author

Heba Nady

Global Client Services Manager. Hebatullah Mahmoud Nady (Heba) is a native Arabic speaker who lives in Cairo, Egypt. She has 11 years of experience in client relations and project management, working in different industries, such as publishing, oil and gas and foremost translation and localization. Heba holds a B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from Ain Shams University, and has a great passion for language and culture. She has been actively managing many localization and translation projects for major clients since 2008 and is well versed in a wide range of localization tools and practices. Heba enjoys working with teams from different cultures and bringing people together to achieve a common goal. For her translation is a mission that contributes to enriching Arabic and other cultures and languages. In her free time, Heba likes to read about literature and management, and go sightseeing.

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