Arabic Website Localization Tips

arabicThe top five languages of the Internet are as follows – English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. There are over 135 million Arabic-speaking users. What makes this statistic extra significant is the growth rate; a 5,296.6% increase from 2000-2013! Yet, very few websites are directed toward the Arabic-speaking market. There are challenges associated with Arabic website localization, but with over 367 million users worldwide, you may want to accept the challenge.

Speak the Language

Like many other languages, Arabic has many dialects. Which one do you choose? Modern Standard Arabic, MSA for short, is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and is also taught in schools and used in printed matter. Twenty-seven countries list Arabic as their official language or co-official language. When looking at the linguistic component, translating your website into Modern Standard Arabic is probably the best way to go for reaching as many web users as possible. However, if you would like to reach specific regions, take it a step further and focus your marketing and advertising efforts using the colloquial Arabic spoken in that particular region.

Right to Left

Arabic is a right-to-left language which poses challenges in print layouts, and of course, in this case, web layouts, too. This affects the layout of the webpage and the user interface (UI) as well. Website text needs to flow in the proper direction, and elements of the web page need to be flipped. For example, navigation bars, headings, table columns, calls to action, and flow charts. It is important to make sure layout is fully localized. Arabic text also expands. Allow for this in your template so there is enough space in tables, buttons, and dropdown menus for functionality. An important step in this process is localization testing. After text is translated and the layout complete, have an Arabic linguist go through the site before it is live and test it for functionality and accuracy.

Image Selection

When localizing your website into any locale, it is important to take inventory of colors used, logos, and images to make sure they are culturally appropriate. There are several topics in Arabic cultural that are sensitive: religion, gender, sexuality, politics, and food. The Arabic world is very diverse, and some countries are more sensitive or conservative than others. Cultural consulting applies, as recommendations by native Arabic speakers can help decide what images to use or not use.

There are many components involved with successful Arabic website localization. We’ve only scratched the surface! It is important to find a localization partner who understands the culture, language, and technical components involved. Do you have questions or interest in Arabic localization? Contact LinguaLinx today.

What Do We Mean By Professional Studio Voice Over Narration?

Professional Voice Over“In a world…” When you think voiceover, a lot of times you think of that praise uttered by the late Don LaFontaine who recorded countless film and video games trailers, television advertisements, and network promotions. At LinguaLinx, voiceover narration in any language is a service that we offer for our clients for any industry. But what exactly goes into “Professional Studio Voiceover Narration”? Let us tell you.


  1. Pre-Production – It is important to be organized and plan right from the start. Each project needing voiceover recording is assigned a production team. All scripts from the client are reviewed to ensure all necessary materials are present. Important details are confirmed such as the appropriate voice talent (age, accent, gender, etc.), time estimates, deadlines, delivery format, and if integration is required. The client is given the option to select their own talent from a bank of resources. The talent selected by the client is contacted and scheduled.
  2. Production – We confirm that studio capabilities meet or exceed quality control standards, and then a recording session is set up by an Audio Engineer. The script is provided to the team that includes a Director, Engineer, and Voice Talent. All Voice Talent paperwork is handled here on our end. The Talent performs and records the script. During Production, we ensure that everything is recorded correctly and no content is overlooked.
  3. Post Production – Post-Production is a very critical stage in the process. This is where we smooth everything over. We isolate final takes and insert any pickups, and we also remove non-performance breaths to smooth out the audio track. We apply equalizer (EQ) to audio to ensure consistent tonal range and master audio using compression (-25dB RMS standard) to ensure consistent audio level. A final QA check is also performed to review audio quality, script adherence, etc.
  4. Integration – This phase is necessary should a client require. Sometimes, we are asked to integrate audio files into such media as Slideshow presentations, videos, Camtasia Studio, or other content aggregations. Quality checking is then performed on this integration to make sure the following variables are up to par: timing, volume, cadence, tone, and theme of the material.
  5. Delivery – File delivery is always according to client specification. We convert files to the specified format such as MP3 or MP4. If not specified, our standard is 48 kHz 24 bit WAV files. We deliver files through our secure FTP or any method that our clients choose.

That’s a wrap! (Pun intended, always.)



LinguaLinx and Northern Rivers Holiday Giving 2014

Banner_complete-1024x465“No one has ever become poor from giving,” said the late Maya Angelou.

This couldn’t be truer around the holiday season.  December 2nd is #GivingTuesday. At LinguaLinx, our home is New York’s Capital Region. We recognize the importance of giving to our local community, and this year, we are kicking off our holiday giving with Northern Rivers Family Services, a not-for profit organization that works with affiliate agencies, Northeast Parent & Child Society in Schenectady and Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany.

“Both organizations affiliated with Northern Rivers have a great history providing at-risk children and families throughout New York State with direct services to make positive changes in their lives,” said Katie Alois, a member of the LinguaLinx team who is organizing this year’s drive. “To do our part, the LinguaLinx team is hosting a Holiday Giving Donation Drive to collect new, unwrapped gifts, gift cards, and food cards to give to families throughout the Capital Region so that they can have a brighter holiday season.”

For a full list of items, take a look at their Holiday Wish List.

LinguaLinx hopes to work more with Northern Rivers in 2015, and the Holiday Giving campaign seemed like the perfect opportunity to start! After all, holidays are times where we create happy memories, and we hope to help do so for children and families throughout our community. The drive will run from December 1st – December 17th. Join us in donating!

Giving Thanks Around The World

ThanksgivingAs we approach Thanksgiving Day, LinguaLinx would like to take the time to thank all of our clients, team members, linguists, interpreters, vendors, and community partners. You are a huge part of our success! Later on this week, most of us in the United States will sit down and share a meal with one another in the spirit of giving thanks – a tradition that originated with the first successful harvest of the Pilgrims with the help of Native Americans in 1621. Did you know that there are other similar harvest festivals and holidays in other cultures around the world? Here are a few:

Chuseok (Korea)

As one of their most important holidays, Korea’s harvest festival is a three-day festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, typically in September or October. Koreans travel from all over to their home towns to gather with family for quality time and give thanks to their ancestors for the harvest. Customs include memorial services to ancestors Charye, (차례), visiting ancestors’ graves Seongmyo (성묘), and clearing of weeds from graves, Beolcho (벌초).

Homowo Festival (Ghana)

This festival is a tradition of the Ga people and celebrates their victory over hunger after a famine in their history. It is celebrated in May with the planting of crops before the rainy season. Homowo means to hoot or laugh at hunger in the Ga language.

Mid-Autumn Festival (China)

China’s harvest festival is always celebrated in the middle of their autumn season, on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, usually mid to late September to early October. Chinese people believe a full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion, and this day is when the moon is the brightest. People travel home to be with their families, share a meal, and  make and eat moon cakes.

Thai Pongal (Tamil)

The Tamil people celebrate their harvest festival at the end of their harvest season, typically in mid-January. Thai is the third month on the Tamil calendar and Pongal is the Tamil word for overflowing. The boiling over of milk in a clay pot is symbolic of abundance and prosperity.

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)

Our neighbors to the north celebrate their Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October. They also celebrate with a big meal, large gatherings, and giving thanks.

It is important to recognize and celebrate different cultures around the world to help bridge cultural and linguistic barriers. Also, let’s not forget, if you are doing business internationally, being aware of holidays is important for scheduling, timing, and connecting with people in these locales.

How LinguaLinx Makes Website Translation Easy!

internetAs a marketer, you are looking to expand into new locales. You are tasked with translating and localizing your content to reach overseas markets – this includes flyers, catalogs, and other collateral, and of course… your website! Your website is an important component because it is your virtual storefront, a gateway into a new market without having to establish a brick-and-mortar business.

With many tasks on your plate, you can come to us for a hassle-free, turn-key solution. LinguaLinx provides website localization and translation proxy services that allow us to serve as a man-in-the- middle; a real-time interpreter between the visitors and your server.

What does this mean exactly? Pretend you are shopping for a car. Are you looking to buy or lease? The proxy is a translation layer of your website. This is an alternative to localizing directly onto your content management system (CMS) on the server side. There are three major benefits:

  • Was your website designed by a 3rd party developer? If so, you can localize your site without having to heavily involve your IT resources
  • No back and forth having to extract content into files, and then integrate the translation back from files
  • You won’t have to give your language service provide (LSP) partner access to your CMS

How does it work? Simple. We have the ability to crawl your web content and handle translation without any intervention required from your side – you don’t need to extract the content! Translators will work right in your original layout to avoid any contextual or fitting mistakes.

Do you update your site frequently? Not a problem. We’ve got our eye on you! It’s up to you how often you want us to check for updates; weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. When new content is added, it will be translated immediately and will be available in every language version.

Along with this, we provide a worldwide content delivery network. Meaning, each language version will be hosted on servers near to the relevant market. This allows for shorter response time for visitors and is duly beneficial for multilingual SEO.

Are we forgetting anything? Just a few things.

  • PDFs, videos, and other non-Web components have to be sent separately. We can add those to the multilingual websites, too! Remember, we also offer multilingual DTP and subtitling solutions!
  • How do we charge? You will be charged the standard per word pricing with a tiered discount. See more about translation memory in a previous post. You will also be charged a monthly hosting fee.
  • If you decided you don’t want us to host anymore, no hard feelings! Your content is yours, in XLIFF format to take with you.

Any questions or interest in this service? Contact LinguaLinx today.

Choosing a Market for Global eCommerce

shopping bagThe holiday season is fast approaching. Time for a… pop quiz? What is the biggest shopping day in China? We’ll give you a hint, it is not Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) like it is in the United States. Nor is it Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) like it is in the United Kingdom. The correct answer is today – November 11th (or 11/11) – known as Single’s Day.

Single’s Day has its roots in the 1990s, where it began as Bachelor’s Day in China, celebrating men who are single. The date was chosen because of the amount of “1’s” in the date.  Since then, it has also evolved into a day focusing on sales, discounts, and shopping. Due to China’s large population as well as the recent debut of Chinese eCommerce company, The Alibaba Group, on the NYSE, we are paying special attention to this holiday as a huge boon for global eCommerce. According to the Wall Street Journal, this day has generated $9.3 billion in transactions this year!

When looking to target a new locale for your eCommerce store, where should you look? No, this isn’t a pop quiz this time! We’re here to help guide you in the right direction. There are over 3 billion Internet users in the world. According to Internet World States, the Top 10 Languages of the Internet, as of December 31, 2013 are as follows:

Language Millions of Users Percentage World Internet Users
English 800 28.6%
Chinese 649.4 23.2%
Spanish 222.4 7.9%
Arabic 135.6 4.8%
Portuguese 121.8 4.3%
Japanese 109.6 3.9%
Russian 87.5 3.1%
German 81.1 2.9%
French 78.9 2.8%
Malay 75.5 2.7%

What do these numbers mean for you? Localizing your content into these 10 languages can help you reach 84 percent of the world’s users. This is a great starting point. Next steps are to research. Look at your products. How will they be received in each of these target markets; is there a demand? Also, take a look at your website analytics to see what countries people are accessing your website from.

If you have a language and target market in mind, take it a step further. There are a few other factors to consider: mCommercecurrency, payment, fulfillment, and any barriers for entry. Is your localized site mobile friendly? This is important if your target market shops on their smartphones. What types of payment and currency will you accept? How will you get the products there? Are there any obstacles in your way from government regulations, tariffs, etc.?

As you looking to establish your global eCommerce store, it is important to start thinking about these factors. There is great opportunity that comes with localizing your website to reach new language markets. But it takes planning. This includes researching demand, spending habits, payment habits, and trends among target consumers and making sure your product can reach them with ease in a timely manner!

LinguaLinx at FABTECH 2014

On November 11th, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing expo is setting up shop at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta – and not a moment too soon! We’ve had Georgia on our mind as LinguaLinx gets ready to exhibit at the event. As always, we’re bringing the world’s languages with us.


Setting the Standard

FABTECH 2014 puts over a thousand exhibiting companies in front of nearly 30,000 attendees. The live equipment demonstrations, educational sessions (over 100) and sheer size of the event – 500,000+ square feet of show floor spanning three different buildings – leave us with big shoes to fill.

Proof in the Pudding

LinguaLinx brings something to the table that is always in demand. We add value to product development, customer relations and supply networks by making it easy and efficient to communicate any subject material in virtually every language on an as-needed basis.

Our services including document translation, website localization, graphic design/layout/typesetting, eLearning translation, voiceover, subtitling, technical writing, global marketing, cultural consulting and multilingual SEO.

Like our clients, we use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to hold our people, methodology, systems and processes accountable for performance and continuous improvement. We follow industry best practices and standards such as EN 15038 and emphasize tracking, reporting and trend analysis. Our success rate for accurate translations and deadline adherence is over 99%. This is important because our clients’ investment in their systems is simply too considerable to experience interruptions just to accommodate a vendor.

What to Expect

As two of our attendees reiterate, LinguaLinx is excited to bring our simple matter-of-fact approach to FABTECH.

“LinguaLinx recruits subject matter experts (SMEs) who specialize in unique industry terminology. Many have even worked within the industry prior to becoming translators. Companies tell us they often have to spend too much time explaining technical terms to their translators. With LinguaLinx, you don’t have to worry about ground wire being translated as earth wire. It sounds bizarre, but that’s a true story we heard at a show. It isn’t enough to speak your target language. We also need to speak your industry, and that involves a lot more than looking up words in a generic dictionary” said Colin Melanson, a professional who has facilitated over 5 million words of translation in 78 different languages.

Colin’s partner in crime Nicole Savage adds “LinguaLinx and the expo are a great fit. We look forward to learning not only about attendees’ needs, but also about their innovative products and services as well as the processes and procedures that make it all a reality.”

Please take the time to stop by Booth #A3045 and say hello to Colin and Nicole. If you’re not able to make it this year, we invite you to visit our website for case studies on what LinguaLinx does and how we can help.

FABTECH is only weeks away. See you in Atlanta!

eLearning Resources from LinguaLinx

Old BooksThe countdown to DevLearn 2014 has begun! In one week, our team will be boarding a plan to Las Vegas to attend the conference and expo. Here’s a collection of articles and blog posts that we’ve written related to eLearning localization that we hope our friends in this industry will find helpful and informative!

LinguaLinx at DevLearn 2014

LinguaLinx will be exhibiting at DevLearn 2014 in Las Vegas – Booth #125. Attending an eLearning Conference and Expo is always a great opportunity to network and share the latest ideas, technology, and trends associated with eLearning and training. Read about what we’re most excited about.

4 A+ Advantages of Global e-Learning

With today’s global workforce, it can be challenging to educate everyone to your required company standards. One of the major benefits of global e-Learning is that you are able to reach your staff virtually, which is both more efficient and cost-effective. Here are some major benefits in this article.

6 Tips for Cutting Cost and Time for eLearning Localization

As a partner for eLearning developers, we want to make sure that the localization of your courses run as smoothly as possible to deliver a course that meets and exceeds expectations. We also want to be able to help our clients save time and money. How does this happen? Here are a few tips.

7 Sure Fire Translation Tips for eLearning

The secret is to start thinking about requirements at the outset, before you even approach an eLearning translation vendor. These seven tips will save you time and money. You’ll reach your audiences effectively in culturally appropriate ways. Read the full article, published on eLearning Industry’s website.

Cultural Considerations For eLearning

eLearning localization involves translating your content into a different language, but it also involves adapting your content for a specific region or culture. Understanding different cultures and how these differences can affect your global course effectiveness is something to consider while you are designing your courses. Read the full article.

Lights! Camera! Video Translation!

Video is an important component for promotion, how-to videos, or eLearning and training courses. Did you know that there are over 7,000 languages spoken in the world today? Of those 7,000, over 100 are spoken in the United States! You’ve spent the time and the money creating these great videos – don’t let their meaning get lost in translation by other demographics! The spotlight is on you to make it happen. Read the full article.

Voiceover vs. Subtitling: Which to Use for eLearning Localization?

It’s time to localize your e-Learning course. You have on-text and audio components. The text part seems pretty straight-forward, but what do you do with the audio? There are several considerations when localizing the audio component of your e-Learning course. Read the full article.

6 Tips for Cutting Cost and Time for eLearning Localization

elearningIf your course is going to be used by learners in different countries, than it might need to be localized now or sometime in the future. Localization means translating text, making sure content is culturally appropriate, providing multilingual voiceover narration or subtitling for audio/video components, and making sure the course is understood and meaningful in each different market.

As a partner for eLearning developers, we want to make sure that the localization of your courses runs as smoothly as possible to deliver a course that meets and exceeds the above expectations. We also want to be able to help our clients save time and money. How does this happen? Plan for localization in the course creation stage. How can you do that? Keep reading. We want to share some tips with you based on our experience.

1. Text Content

With on screen text, less is more. Commonly translated languages such as Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, and Spanish can expand up to 20 percent. Also, text from English into character languages such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean can contract up to 15 percent. Keep this in mind for font sizing and restricted space such as buttons or text boxes. Being aware of expansion and contraction will help save money and time on translation and formatting.

2. Graphics and Images

Images are great for learning! If your course has images with text embedded in them, hang on to those source files for localization – we’re going to need them later. Any time we can avoid recreation, time can be taken off of desktop publishing hours. This saves money for you.

Quick tip for screenshot localization: Is the program that the screenshot is showing translated? If so, providing a screenshot of the translated program is helpful.

3. Audio/Video Content

Remember text expansion? This affects more than just on screen text; it affects audio and video content, too. Which technique, voiceover narration or subtitling, is better for you? We’ve weighed the pros and cons in an earlier blog post: Voiceover vs. Subtitling: Which to Use for eLearning Localization? Subtitling may be more cost effective in some cases, but there may be instances where voiceover narration best meets your needs.

Quick tip for audio/video localization: If you have a script for your content, let us translate the script first and have your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) review it. Approving the content and having a locked script will cut down on rework later on.

4. Numerical Values

Many times, this applies to monetary values and measurements. Will your learners be able to understand the values presented in the course? Or will they have to be converted? Keep this in mind when creating content; it will have to be converted and localized.

5. Acronyms

Acronyms in one locale might not make sense in another – for example different government organizations or national regulatory laws. The letters change when translated into different languages. Clarify if you want these acronyms translated or if you would like them to stay as is with an explanation within the content.

6. Reference Materials

Some clients provide glossaries of preferential terms. After all, Eskimos have 50 words for snow, and while term preferences might not be as superfluous, if your client prefers a certain term, let us know! A glossary is also a great place to put terms that are to stay in the source language or any other notes to pass along to a linguist.

LinguaLinx at DevLearn 2014

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. But no worries – this time it’s a good thing!

As the Fountains of Bellagio work their magic for everyone to see on October 29th to 31st, the inside of the resort will be packed with creative eLearning developers sharing one thing in common: the passion to create an equally engaging experience.

The Conference

LinguaLinx will be an exhibitor at DevLearn 2014

DevLearn 2014’s theme is “Exploring the New Learning Universe.” The word universe is especially appropriate because eLearning is blazing an educational trail that can’t be contained by regional or cultural limitations. Whether it’s corporate training that brings a diverse workforce together or massive online open courses (MOOCs) with registered users in countries around the world, educational horizons are expanding.

The eLearning Guild knows this, and they’ve created an ideal environment that focuses on new technologies opening a world of possibilities. These same technologies also create new challenges and expectations. For example, sessions will cover the importance of mobile development as well as the need to consider an educational experience for users who quickly move from one device to another.

How LinguaLinx Fits In

Responsive design isn’t just about technology, and this is where LinguaLinx can help. Two of our eLearning specialists, Kayleigh Gratton and Caitlin Nicholson, will be exhibiting at the popular expo. They’ll be consulting with developers at Booth #125 on the importance of providing culturally-appropriate learning in the user’s native language. Whether it’s translating documentation and modules or multimedia content such as video and voice over, LinguaLinx has helped a growing number of developers expand their reach and effectiveness. And it’s not as difficult as it seems! Popular eLearning technologies easily integrate with translation tools for smooth importing and exporting.

You Heard It Here

There Starts Here With LinguaLinx

Overall, LinguaLinx is a great fit for DevLearn and eLearning professionals.

According to LinguaLinx Sales Manager Jim Maziejka, “The decision to exhibit at DevLearn 2014 was a no brainer. The E-Learning industry is one that we are very strong in and enjoy working with. At LinguaLinx we recognize the importance of providing quality, turnkey eLearning localization solutions, and we welcome the opportunity to network with professionals in this industry to discuss their needs and how we can help meet them.”

Kayleigh Gratton, who will be in attendance at the expo, said “We’re very excited to be attending DevLearn for the first time. Caitlin and I attended the Learning Solutions 2014 Conference earlier this year in Orlando and made some great relationships with top training and development professionals. We’re hoping to achieve the same success in Las Vegas!”

Caitlin Nicholson, an eLearning specialist with previous experience working for an educational company, added, “What I’m most looking forward to (in addition to going to Las Vegas, of course!) is the opportunity to connect with eLearning professionals and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in this industry that we serve. This conference presents the perfect platform to do both.”

It sure does, and LinguaLinx is excited to attend, say hello to our eLearning friends, and meet some great new developers!