Arabization, also known as the Arabization of technology or the localization of technology, refers to the process of adapting and translating technological products and services into the Arabic language. Localization also considers translating and adapting software interfaces, documentation, and content into the local language. This involves not only translating words but also considering cultural nuances, idioms, and expressions.
However, the language is spoken by a majority of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. There is no doubt that English is the language mostly used in all sectors of the world, including technological content. Reports from Statista show that English language penetration on the internet as of January 2023 is around 55 per cent. Meanwhile, the Arabic language is used on only 0.7 per cent of websites although it is spoken by 3.5 per cent of the world’s population.
The good news is that the adoption of Arabization by countries in the MENA region is playing a significant role in growing its technology space in several ways. It has helped create a user experience that feels native to the target market, increasing user adoption, satisfaction, and overall success just to mention a few.
Arabization and Tech Development in MENA
Arabizing technology makes it more accessible to the Arabic-speaking population in the MENA region. By providing user interfaces, documentation, and customer support in Arabic, technology companies can reach a wider audience and cater to the linguistic preferences of their target market. This helps in reducing language barriers and improves user experience.
When technology products and services are available in Arabic, it encourages greater adoption among Arabic-speaking users. Localized interfaces and content make it easier for users to understand and engage with technology, leading to increased usage and acceptance. This, in turn, drives the growth of the MENA technology market.
Arabizing technology involves more than just translation; it also involves adapting the content and services to suit the cultural and regional preferences of the MENA audience. This includes incorporating relevant cultural references, adapting design elements, and localizing features to align with local norms and practices. Such customization enhances the relevance and appeal of technology offerings, making them more attractive to the MENA market.
Job Creation and Economic Growth:
Arabization creates job opportunities in the MENA region. Companies need professionals proficient in both technology and Arabic language skills to carry out tasks such as translation, localization, and customer support. By fostering the development of a local workforce with these skills, Arabization contributes to economic growth and the advancement of the technology industry in the MENA region.
Empowering Local Content Creation:
Arabization also stimulates the creation of local content in the MENA region. As technology becomes more accessible and user-friendly in Arabic, it encourages individuals and organizations to develop and share content in their native language. This promotes knowledge-sharing, cultural expression, and the growth of digital content creation within the MENA technology space.
Overall, Arabization plays a crucial role in bridging the language gap and supporting the growth and development of the MENA technology space. By making technology more accessible, user-friendly, and culturally relevant, Arabization helps foster innovation, increases market reach, and contributes to the overall advancement of the technology sector in the region.