Recently a French furniture company, Smarin, set up a pop-up “nap bar” in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The space was complete with luxury lounge chairs, calming music, herbal tea, and plush pillows. Best of all, residents could enjoy a daily snooze free of charge.
According to the Nation Sleep Foundation, half of Americans site lack of sleep as something that affects their daily activities. Studies have shown that employees who are able to nap during the day have increased productivity and focus. Not to mention, having a little extra sleep makes for a healthier, happier person.
Could permanent nap bars be popular in cities across the world sometime in the near future? Some big name companies, like Google, Zappos, and Ben & Jerry’s, have already implemented napping spaces for employees. Nap bars could allow more people to enjoy a catnap on their lunch break perhaps.
Why should Abu Dhabi be your next travel destination? As the capital of United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a bustling city with a beautiful waterfront location. It is home to the popular tourist attraction, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. With its luxury hotels, like Emirates Palace and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi is the perfect hub for those wanting to explore the desert landscapes of close-by Liwa Oasis and Al Ain.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is just that, grand. Adorned in Macedonian marble, mosaic tiling, and intricate carvings, it is also the largest mosque in United Arab Emirates, holding 40,000 worshipers. Non-Muslim visitors are welcome as well and guided tours are available free of charge.
Al-Hosn Palace is also worth a visit. As the oldest building in Abu Dhabi, built in 1793, the palace served as the primary residence for the ruling family. The palace has since been renovated and houses the Centre for Documentation and Research, which holds important documents concerning the history of the United Arab Emirates. The palace also has a museum that displays historical photographs and artifacts.
Liwa Oasis of one of the largest sand dunes in the world. Adventures wanting to ride dune buggies, go sand surfing, or sightsee upon a camel should make Liwa Oasis a stop on their list. Al Ain has plenty to offer as well, such as panoramic views from the summit of Jebel Hafeet (Hafeet Mountain) or taking in one of Al Ain’s many gardens.
Abu Dhabi is also a short drive to the Emirates Park Zoo. Yas Island and Heritage Village offer sun-seekers stretches of beautiful beaches. The city skyline can be seen from the observation deck at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. There is a fee for people who are not guests of the hotel, however the ticket fee can be applied towards food and drinks at the observation deck’s restaurant. With an option for everyone Abu Dhabi should be on everyone’s travel list.
Arabic is a Afroasiatic language in the Central Semitic family. Estimates to the number of native speakers can range up to 420 million across the globe. The difficult thing to measure here is that Arabic has many distinct languages within it that can sometimes be incomprehensible to other speakers. Still, throughout Western Asia, North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and other regions, there is a common language for writing and media. This is called Modern Standard Arabic, or “fus-ha” to Arabic speakers.
This Literary Arabic is derived from the Classical Arabic that was spoken during the revelation of the Qur’an. Quranic Arabic is the starting point for measuring the growth of the language. That is because the delicate vocabulary of the Qur’an made it necessary for linguists to save meanings for the benefit of future generations. Thus, giving birth to dictionaries and lexicography. For many learners of Arabic as a second language, they may forgo the geographical dialects in place of the Quranic variant for its numerous linguistic benefits. It is required for the world’s 2 billion Muslims to at least learn how to read the language in order to access their holy text for prayers.
Arabic is closely related to two other languages found in Abrahamic books of revelation. This is, Hebrew and Aramaic (Syriac), found in the Old and New Testaments, respectively. The written alphabets of these language chains vary in their form, but are related in their breakdown.
The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters, all distinguishing consonant sounds. Like the other Semitic tongues, vowels are not written, but rather an assumed pronunciation based on the word’s meaning and place in the sentence. For formal texts, or books that native Arabic speakers don’t access exclusively, such as the Qur’an, there is a system for labeling vowel sounds above the letters. For native speakers, these sounds are a natural part of their grammatical approach to the language. Still, most would not be able to tell you why the word will carry certain vowels in specific locations.
Transliteration of Arabic is a little difficult, as some of the sounds come from the back of the throat, or use parts of the mouth not found in the Latin letters. Arabic is often called the “language of the daad,” in reference to one of its letters that only exists in Arabic. This sound is made by folding the tip of the tongue around the back molars. Consider it a rounder, harder version of the “d” sound.
Like the other Semitic languages, the alphabet does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. Also, it is written right-to-left, unlike the left-to-right European alphabets. However, the interesting thing about Arabic’s writing system is that numbers are written left-to-right. These numbers are the foundation of the modern numerals found in nearly every language. Previous to the “Arabic numerals,” mathematics was done using Roman numerals and there was no “0.”
As one of the official languages of the United Nations, Arabic is also the official language of over 26 global states. Its connection to Islam ensures that the language will continue as an important field of study. Although changes in technology and media have added new vocabulary to the language, Classical Arabic is not going anywhere.
The new Suez Canal is completed!
The inauguration of the original Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, took place 146 years ago and measured 102 miles long; it took 10 years to complete it. The new canal added 22 miles and was finished in only one year, two years less than expected. It now allows for separate passing of ships in opposite directions. Also included is the deepening and expansion of a 37-kilometre-long section of the existing canal.
During the inauguration a balloon that read “Long live Egypt” cruised above and Egyptian national flags lined the main streets. About 6,000 guests were invited from 90 countries, along with thousands of Egyptians who won tickets via a special lottery.
According to calculations and estimates, it is expected that more than double the number of ships will be passing through the Suez Canal and increasing Egypt’s earnings to $13 billion a year as compared to the now annual $5.5 billion.
The new expansion will also shorten the transit time from 18 to 11 hours for the southbound voyage. The waiting time for vessels should now also be reduced to three hours instead of up to 11 hours.
One of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world is an Arabic speaking country, The United Arab Emirates. The UAE is divided into emirates, which are political territories that are ruled by a dynastic Islamic monarch emir. The largest city in the UAE is Dubai. Dubai is considered to be the main business hub of the Middle East and offers visitors numerous attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Dubai and have never traveled to a Muslim nation before there are several customs and traditions that you will want to be aware of before going that are listed at the end of the article. The first thing you can’t help but notice when visiting Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building which is 2,722 feet tall. Connected to the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Mall and Dubai Aquarium which are two of the hottest tour destinations in town. Dubai is also home to some of the most exclusive and expensive hotels in the world. If money is no object, you can stay at the Burj Al-Arab, which is the world’s tallest hotel and has rooms ranging from $1500 to over $15,000/night. Last but not least, you will want visit several of the Mosques like the Jumeirah Mosque, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful in Dubai.
Customs and etiquette:
- Do not eat with your left hand.
- It’s considered polite to leave some food on your plate after a meal, don’t “clean your plate”.
- Men shake hands, women should wait until the man extends his hand.
- Friday is the holy day and day or rest.
‘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. (more…)
WWI was 100 years ago, but many of the terms coined at the time are still in use today. Most of these terms are anglicized versions of expressions from French, German and Hindi or Urdu. (more…)
We recently completed a very long and complicated e-learning training program recording in Arabic for the automotive sector. The translated scripts we received for recording contained very technical words and names, and the Arabic text was written without any tashkeel. (more…)
As the global marketplace continues to expand, one of the emerging markets many business owners want to reach is the Arab market. In order to integrate your business into this marketplace successfully, you will need the expertise of an Arabic translation service. Many Arab countries are so different from western cultures that it can be difficult to establish a viable business presence. One of the best ways to make sure that those living in Arab countries accept your marketing message is through the use of the services of an Arabic translation and localization specialist.
Many countries around the world speak Arabic as their national language. Most of these countries have very different cultural values than your current western market. The difference in beliefs and values can make it exceptionally difficult to brand your company in an effective manner in Arabic speaking countries. One way to overcome this hurdle is by using the services of an Arabic translation service. You have probably spent a great deal of time, effort, and money in the branding of your company’s image. While that image may be useful in your current markets, there is no guarantee that it will be as beneficial to your efforts in a new market. An Arabic translation and localization specialist will help ensure that not only are the ideas of your company brought to the new market, but that those ideas are presented in a culturally accepted way.
One of the most significant challenges your company is likely to face when moving into a market where the principal national language is Arabic, is the difference in cultures from one country to another. Many Arabic cultures are very conservative. Therefore, many of the marketing tactics used in other cultures are frowned upon in Arabic regions. To navigate the landscape of Arabic culture and language successfully, it is essential that you have access to a professional immersed in that culture. When entering an Arabic market, it is likely that you will need to be very careful about the tone and language that you use to market your business. Cultural customs are important everywhere around the world, but no place more so than among the Arabic culture. While it is essential for your business to provide this new market with a message consistent with your brand’s image, it is just as important to make sure that you do so in a manner that does not offend the cultural norms of the area. An Arabic translation professional immersed in your new market provides you with the best opportunity to make sure that happens. By entrusting your Arabic translation needs to a translation agency with translators located in your target market, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your translator is aware of local customs and cultures, giving them the insight they need to construct the translations in a way that delivers your company’s message without accidently offending an entire region.
Entering the Arabic market is a great opportunity for your business. With nearly 180-million native speakers of Arabic in the world, there are an awful lot of people your business can reach. However, it is imperative that your business and marketing materials are able to deliver your message without crossing any cultural lines.