If you are a regular translation buyer and have a file that you want to translate, what would be more suitable for your business requirements? Should your file be Arabized, translated, localized or transcreated?

With Arabization, Translation, localization and Transcreation services offered by most freelance translators and translation agencies, how can you define the specific service that would best suit your business requirements?

With this wide array of diversified services, translation buyers are often confused as to what would best fit their current need.

To expound all these closely related terms, here is a detailed definition of each of these terms supported by a concise comparison in the infographic for a clearer overview of the meaning and connotations of each.


Arabization is the process of expressing any text in any language in Arabic. Although it is literally translating the source text into Arabic, it actually means more than translation. it combines the original aspect of the text, besides a motivational one. Thereupon, Arabization delves behind the rendered target text (i.e. the Arabic translated file) and rephrases it to suit the Arab culture, identity and mentality.

Besides the attention given to the translation process and the meticulous choice of corresponding terms, more focus is directed to finding equivalent synonyms to the idiomatic expressions, cliché and collocations in a smooth Arabic style that abides by the conventions of the Arabic language and its grammar, as much as it observes the message and tone of the author. If the file to be translated contains any images or issues that might pose a cultural sensitivity, the term extends to include replacing the already used image or addressing the issue that poses sensitivity in the event that it was not suitable for the Arab culture.

From the scientific and technical point of view, the term also refers to the technique used in coining a new Arabic term for a new invention or a scientific discovery. In such case, the Arabization Process mainly conforms to certain applicable rules such as the regularity & the common use of the term, its ease of use, convenience, compatibility and feasibility of derivation, besides following a long line of guidelines that are expressed in detail by the Arab Term.

Therefore, in its broad sense, the term “Arabization” means translating any text into Arabic, while respecting the conventions of the Arabic language on the one hand, and the Arab culture and the identity of its audience on the other. Thus, in terms of its adherence to the source, Arabization is authentic and conceptual. Its purpose is original and motivational. It can arouse medium to very high audience engagement. After the introduction of in 2016, it requires SEO research and it involves more rounds of review than translation. It is time-consuming and involves senior translators, proofreaders and editors. accordingly, it is more expensive than translation.


Arabization services are used to Arabize websites, apps., product info., blog articles, slogans, taglines, marketing campaigns, marketing collateral and any texts used to address Arab customers, clients or Arab audience in general. However, for a documentary, business communication, legal, financial, scientific and other texts of technical nature, the translation service would be the best fit.

An example of Arabization is evident in any text translated into Arabic, whether for literary, technical or marketing purposes.


Translation is the process of rendering the meaning of a source-language text into an equivalent target-language text. In such a process, the translator depends on his repository of expert knowledge of the grammar and syntax of the source language in grasping the author’s intended meaning, which he then conveys in a corresponding target language that conforms to the rules of said language’s grammar, semantics and syntax. Its primary aim is creating a translated file that is faithful to the text, message, tone and format of the source file. However, Wikipedia sums it all in one comprehensive article that addresses all aspects of translation for anyone who would like to know more details about the subject.

Therefore, in terms of its adherence to the source, translated files are accurate. Their purpose is factual. They arouse low audience engagement. They dose not require SEO research and involve the usual rounds of review. They are not time-consuming and involve translators, proofreaders and editors of low to medium experience. Accordingly, the cost of translation is standard. Translation usually involves general or technical texts, emails, manuals, reports, researches, contracts, surveys, agreements and business correspondence in general.

Translation mainly has to do with the wide array of most business communications, reports, surveys, studies, researches and correspondence, as well as al kinds of specialized translations, which require conveying the meaning of the source language faithfully into the translated file.


Localization is a form of translation, but its broader goal is to make a content or a product feel as though it was specifically created for a specific locale or target market. This is done not only by the use of translation, but by further probing into the text to adjust the content, the functional properties and characteristics of a product with the aim of accommodating it to the intended language, cultural, social, political and even legal differences of the targeted foreign market or country. In other words, simply put, localization is adapting the content and product or service to meet the desired audiences’ “look and feel.” Maybe the best definition of Localization was that of Gala Globalization & Localization Association, which sums all localization elements in a simple straight-forward inclusive definition.

For example, to localize an American product for a British market, the process entails using British English and British idiomatic expressions, besides applying British time zones, converting US$ to the British Sterling Pound, as well as adapting to local colour sensitivities, product name, and geographic references. Besides formatting addresses and dates, the term also comprises adjusting the website’s layout to suit the British cultural and technological preferences.

Examples of cultural content adaptation include i) colours, shapes, sizes, styles; ii) images, icons, graphics; iii) social codes such as humour, etiquette, rituals, myths and symbols; iv) social values such as power, relationships and beliefs.

On the other hand, examples of functional content adaptation include: i) date and time formats, telephone numbers, contact information; ii) weights, measurements, geographical references, iii) language and linguistic content, product descriptions and reviews.

Accordingly, the adherence of a localized text to the source file is authentic. Its purpose is original and the audience engagement ranges from medium to high engagement. It requires SEO research and involves more rounds of review than standard translated files. It is time-consuming and involves senior translators, proof-readers and editors. That’s why it is considered an expensive services because it does not involve the localization of the text alone, but all other related environment wherein the text appears i.e. the setting of the localized text is also localized to suit the addressed audience. Localization usually involves websites, apps., training, product info., blog articles, forums and help documents.

A perfect embodiment of localization can be clearly elaborated in the launch of any new product for the global market or a specific locale such as the launching of any branded app or websites addressing their global customers, such as Microsoft and Google


Transcreation is another form of translation that is also known as “creative translation”. Although it is literally a form of copywriting, where the original content may be mostly changed to attract the target audience and meet their preferences and taste in order to convince them to buy a certain product or service, a transcreated file still has to maintain the same intent, style, tone and message of the author.

Transcreation is mainly focused on marketing and advertising purposes. It usually takes a longer time to create the logical sequence required for convincing the audience to take the desired action. This explains why it is actually more expensive than translation.

Therefore, if you want to promote a brand in an existing market or need to build a brand in a new market, transcreation ensures that your message will resonate as strongly and accurately as possible in the new localities.

An example of transcreation can be seen in the context of hospitality and tourism websites and all marketing collateral. For instance, any bilingual can notice the differences between the content of the source version and that of other target files. These variances between the source and the target languages in addressing the targeted audience of each in an appealing and attractive manner to convey the intended message observe the preferences of the locale and drive them to the required Call to Action, while complying to the rules of the language. A more evident example can also be shown in the multilingual marketing collateral and ads used in addressing their global customers on the media. Transcreation usually involves slogans, taglines, marketing campaigns, brochures, headlines and marketing collateral.

Now that you have a clearer view of the different services offered by most translators and translation companies, which services do you usually use and what service will you order next time?

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