by Catherine Deschamps-Potter, ICD Translation Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Accurate, effective translation doesn’t simply mean substituting a word in one language with the equivalent in another. With all languages, literal translations fail to capture the original intent of the text. Accurate, effective translation and transcreation entail adapting and applying the original message’s intent, context, style, tone, and voice to the intended target language. That’s key.

The Middle East, consisting of emerging and growing economies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, has a lot of potential in terms of untapped market share. Companies and organizations around the world devote large amounts of resources towards translation and localization campaigns in the region.

However, Arabic is a tricky language to translate—there are many words that are simply untranslatable going from English to Arabic and vice versa, due to either form or context. In order to succeed in the realm of Arabic translation, translators must grant equal consideration to linguistic, semantic, pragmatic, and cross-cultural circumstances.

For language service providers, a culturally-aware approach to translation, that utilizes certified Arabic translators to aid inlocalization and transcreation, is more likely to meet the needs of organizations looking to spread their message in the Arabic-language marketplace, in turn increasing margins for profits, revenue and sales.


Source: Mermel, M. (2015, April/May). Perspectives: Translation and transcreation for the Arabic-speaking marketplace. MultiLingual. Retrieved from

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