Problems When Dealing with Arabic
‘Problem’ is not a word you want to hear when dealing with localization. However, right-to-left languages do pose difficulties and sometimes, when not set up properly, problems. This applies not just to Arabic, but to all right-to-left languages.
There is an easy setting to switch the text direction from right to left on every computer. Some people simply align the text to the right and that all looks perfectly acceptable at first, but as soon as you use such a document for formatting, for a brochure for example, you will realize the problems. The simple task of deleting one character can become a nightmare. It is very important to switch your document to the correct setting before starting.
When formatting a brochure into Arabic you will also have to flip all pictures, charts, bullets and numbering. It is very important that a native Arabic speaker reviews the final layout to assure that all text and pictures are accurate and properly flowing from right to left.
It is also important to consider the correct font for your brochure. In recent years due to the many computer users, more Arabic fonts have become available to choose from. There are still not as many fonts on the market as are available in English, but enough to select one that is right for your project. If in doubt, we can always help you with your selection.
In order for your project to be absolutely perfect, please know that while there is Modern Standard Arabic, the most commonly used Arabic dialect, there are other dialects used in many Middle Eastern countries. Please identify your target country so that we can translate your project in the correct Arabic language for you.
Here is an Arabic example:
And the Hindi, which is written from left to right.