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5 Display Issues You Should Avoid in English to Arabic Translation

Translating English to Arabic isn’t as simple as it looks. First, you must be certified in translating official/legal texts and documents. Second, you need to be very careful with all the smaller details when translating for some commercial purpose.

Here are five display issues that are pretty common when translating from English to Arabic. Try to avoid them as much as you can as well,

  • Selecting the inappropriate font

The Arabic language is different from English. From pronunciation to text, there are significant differences between both languages. So, a single font style may not efficiently display Arabic text. With English text, you can say that it is quite easy to decide on a fond as most of the texts are built-in for it.

So, if you decide t go with the inappropriate font, chances are that you won’t even be able to read the text clearly at the end. Also, avoid unnecessary bolding text for a commercial display or official text statement.

  • Arabic text direction

Unlike English, the Arabic text direction is from the right-hand side to the left-hand side. What does that mean? When writing down something in Arabic, you will need to start from the right side of the page, and the text will go in the left direction till the end of the content/document.

Most translators make this mistake while translating content from English to Arabic. In English, the text direction is from the left-hand side to the right-hand side. So, the final copy may get an impression of Arabic text from left to right.

  • Left to Right display mistakes

The left-to-right display mistakes are common in the commercial translation of English to Arabic. But the important thing to note is that mistakes like these aren’t always because of translating agents. Printing has a very important role to play in this.

The most common left-to-right display mistake is misprinting Arabic content right next to the English content. Both English and Arabic have different text directions. So, printing them side by side on a commercial scale may put the text in both languages at a similar starting point or direction.

  • Mixing up Arabic and English words

Another major English-to-Arabic display problem occurs when English and Arabic words are mixed. This is not the traditional translational style. But on a commercial level, there can be a time when both languages must be merged by taking certain words from both.

Again, this can cause many display-related problems; both languages are different in terms of the text. Plus, the direction of text is a major problem as well. So, the best way to avoid such an issue is to use inverted commas or parentheses for certain text inclusion in the content.

  • Number display problems

In the end, the only display issue that needs to be addressed is the number display problem. Just like the Arabic text, the Arabic number system differs from English. The text direction is the same as the numbers in Arabic, starting from the right-hand side and going all the way to the left-hand side. 

Also, it is important to note that Arabic numerals’ shape and writing style is significantly different from English. So, using one font type and bolding unnecessarily won’t be an option.

Final Note

Translating any language to Arabic and then displaying it requires some additional effort. This is because of the fact Arabic is one of the oldest known languages to mankind that is still fluently spoken in many nations all around the globe.

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