Arabic: Translation Style Guide

Table of Contents


This style guide sets out WordPress’s quality standards and we ask our translators, proofreaders, and QA staff to fully conform to its guidelines.

The aim of this guide is to solve some inconsistencies during the translation of WordPress. This style guide is not intended to be a comprehensive guide of proper style and grammar. Rather, it is a summary of SW rules as they apply to the products.

The aim of this guide is not to impose one single written style. Judgments about the appropriate register must be made with reference to the text (are you translating a press release, a handbook, or a marketing text?). The text should be clear and concise, even when the Source is not.

We recommend that you read the style guide in full in one sitting and that you keep it to hand when you are working should you need it for further reference. The style guide provides detailed instructions and reading it once will merely give you an overview. For this reason, you should always look up specific guidelines whenever they arise in your work.

Striving for quality is the reason we find our work to be less of a chore and more of a challenging and enjoyable experience.

Writing Style

The style must be clear, succinct, logical, and accurate. Avoid Anglicisms, i.e. English-based structures. The reader should be unaware that the text is a translation.

  • Be consistent. As much as possible, present similar information in the same way throughout the documentation and the software. Use the same term to mean the same thing.
  • Use parallel structures for headings and for items in a list or table. If one item begins with a noun, all should. If one item begins with a verb, all should. Only break this rule if the consistency leads to cumbersome constructions.
  • Avoid ambiguous expressions.
  • Avoid long, complicated sentences. Sometimes it is better to break complex information down into two or more sentences.
  • List information in logical and idiomatic order. This may be different from English.
  • Do not use colloquialisms.

Decide on which technical style of writing should be used and apply consistently. Do not mix styles unless it affects the quality and flow of the translation.

In instructions, the imperative form of the verbs should be used rather than the infinitive.


English: Press the Enter key.

Arabic: اضغط على مفتاح Enter.

In commands (instructions to the system), use the infinitive form.


English: Configure the password.

Arabic: تكوين كلمة المرور.

In prompts (instructions to the user), use the imperative form.


English: Enter the new password.

Arabic: أدخل كلمة المرور الجديدة.

The choice of writing style depends on the purpose of the document and the target audience.


Follow the latest punctuation standards in Arabic and apply consistently.

In Arabic, entries in the same list usually either have an end of the sentence punctuation (period, question mark, or exclamation mark) because they are complete sentences, or no punctuation because they are phrases, not complete sentences.

Do not use periods in main headers even if the header is a complete sentence.

Spacing between sentences

Unlike the formatting convention commonly found in English, there is no double space between sentences (following a period or other punctuation).


Word hyphenation

Arabic does not use hyphenation. For compound words, we should avoid hyphenation.


Triple-check التحقق الثلاثي

Never insert hyphens manually to break a word at the end of a line.

  • Arabic and English share some punctuation marks. However, an important difference lies within the use of semicolons (;). In Arabic, semicolons are used to indicate that what follows the semicolon is explaining, elaborating, or justifying what precedes it.
  • Do not put a space before punctuation marks. Use a single space after punctuation marks.
  • If an Arabic conjunctive and/or a preposition is a single-letter; e.g. الواو, الكاف, الفاء & اللام, please note that these grammatical articles must be prefixed to the following Arabic word.The only exception to this rule is when the word to be prefixed is not in Arabic script, e.g. a word left as is from a European language, in which case, you may leave a space after the conjunctive “و” being a final letter. In the case of other initial letters, however, please use a kashida (e.g. فـ, لـ, or كـ) before you leave a space that precedes the following word.
  • Make sure there are no double spaces inserted in any file. There should only be one space. Please use the search and find feature to find double spaces.
  • In Arabic, we use the same quote “” for both opening and closing quotes.

Formatting & Layout


There is no capitalization in Arabic. Sometimes, if capitalization is used in English to mark significant elements in the text, you may use bolding (for the entire word) to convey the same emphasis.

Note: Do not assume just because a word in the English source document has been capitalized (initial caps) that it is a product name. It may have been done for emphasis.


Dates should be localized.

For months’ translation, please use the common dual form, for example. يناير/كانون الأول, separated by a backslash.


Source document Arabic
December 9th, 2003

9 ديسمبر/كانون الأول 2003

DEC 9th, 2003

9 ديسمبر/كانون الأول 2003





Measurements, Conversions, and Numbers


No period is used after units of measurement

10 مجم

Inch is translated as ”بوصة” (singular) and “بوصات” (plural). The inch symbol (“) is not used.

As all Arabic-speaking countries use the metric units of measurement, metric units should be given prominence. If the English original gives both US Customary and metric measurements, the translation should keep both—Metric units first, followed by US Customary in parentheses.


Numbers should be localized.

The standard decimal separator in Arabic is a decimal comma.


English: 3.14
Arabic: 3.14

No separator shall be used in Arabic to separate thousands, millions, trillions, etc.


English: 1,000
Arabic: 1000

When writing a negative number, use a hyphen.

Degree of temperature:

In Arabic the degree symbol is not used, it should be translated as follows:


English: 28°C


28 درجة مئوية.

Range of numbers:

• Between the numbers in a range: Use a hyphen.

Note: There is no space before or after the hyphen.

• Is it also acceptable to use the word “to” within the range, as long as the usage is consistent throughout a document or a related group of documents.

In Arabic:

18 إلى 28 درجة مئوية.

Percentage: 35 %, do not use space after the percentage sign –

  • Use this format.
    Example: 35%
  • It can also be written as:

35 في المئة.

But not

35 بالمئة.


Arabic Diacritics are not required except when a verb or a noun might cause some ambiguity or be confusing if lacking a vowel and for Tanween (putting Diacritic accents on final letter of a word) purposes.

Using Shadda is optional, unless it serves to disambiguate.


ID مُعرف

Sender المرسِل

Load حمّل

Install ركّب


Tone to be used

The tone should be polite and open-minded and making easy to understand statements. Language must be precise and should “talk” to the reader. The translation tone must sound like original writing. Please note that friendly and warm tone is appropriate for Arabic market.


It’s important for translators to modify or re-write translated strings so that they are more appropriate and natural to Arabic customers. To do so, please try to understand the whole intention of the sentences, paragraphs, and pages, and then re-write just like you are writing the contents yourselves. It will make the contents more perfect for Arabic users. Sometimes, you may need to remove any unnecessary contents.

Use of Conjunction for More Natural Context

Starting a sentence with a conjunction can be used to convey an informal and more natural tone and style. Translators can freely add conjunctions to make it more naturally connected by context.

Source Text example Arabic example
And finally click “Save”.

وانقر فوق “حفظ” في النهاية.

Then, click “OK”.

ثم انقر فوق “موافق”.

Instead, you might press “Enter”.

أو بدلاً من ذلك، يمكنك الضغط على “Enter”.



Placeholder may refer to a product name, date, time, number, person name, entity name, etc.

Localizer should take care and time to decide what a placeholder stands for. This is very important in understanding the context.


You have purchased %1$s.

قد قمت بشراء %1$s .

Password must be at least %d characters.

كلمة المرور يجب أن تكون بطول %d حرفاً على الأقل.

HTML codes

HTML codes should be understood and localized in cases like the following example:

You&​rsquo;ve selected the theme! Now you can customize it to make it look exactly how You&​rsquo;d like.

لقد اخترت القالب! يمكنك الآن تعديله ليظهر تماما كما تحب.

HTML codes might not be localizable in cases like the following example:



Brand, Upgrade, and Feature Names

Brand names should not be localized or transliterated, they should be left in English. While upgrade and feature names might be localized.

Here are some examples of each: Jetpack, VaultPress, Akismet (brand names), Domain Mapping, No Ads, Custom Design (upgrade names — these are premium, aka paid, features), Publicize, Stats, Polls (feature names — these are free features available to all users).

As brand names grow popular in the Arabic market, however, brand owners may finally decide to provide a localised version of their brands for more convenience. If you have to localise names, however, please keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Stylised names e.g. VaultPress or acronyms like IBM provide special difficulties when transliterated. They are far better off left in their English spelling for easier recognition and more convenience.
  • Brand/product names with sounds that don’t have equivalents in Arabic may prove very difficult to localise. For example, “G” sound may give rise to endless discussion as to whether it should be localised as “غ”, “ج”, “ك” or “ق”. “V” will typically be corrupted to “f” and “p” to “b”. So, unless you are absolutely sure how a product/feature name can be perfectly assimilated into Arabic, please don’t venture to localise it.
  • WordPress itself may be localised to “ووردبريس” as per Although URL’s are almost typically left in English, some may gain prominence in the Arabic market to the point that they it becomes quite cumbersome to leave the URL in English. As popular URL’s become more of a brand name, major web sites in the Middle East have already published their URL names in Arabic, e.g. بيت نقطة كوم, إدارة.كوم and even لينك دوت نت.
    As such,ووردبريس.كوم already scores over a million hit on Google with an official article in its name on Arabic Wikipedia.

Titles and Headings

Please use nouns/infinitives when translating heading titles which are in the gerund or the infinitive in English; please make sure the headings are exactly like those in the index. Please make headings as short as possible.

Please make sure any cross-reference matches the index or the other instance it refers to.

Acronyms & Abbreviations

In every topic inside each chapter, spell out the first instance of the acronym followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses, Translation (Acronym).

Global Unique Identifier (GUID)

المعرف الفريد العالمي (GUID)

In all other occurrences for the acronym in the same topic, please only use the translation without acronym in parentheses. But in case the source contains both full words and abbreviation, you MUST do the same in target.

Please never put the acronym between parentheses in graphics, tables, equations or anything other than running text.

Proper Names

If the proper name is factual (for a real company, person, place or speaking about a real incident that happened in the real world), then the proper name should be transliterated in Arabic as is. In case it is a hypothetical proper name (in imaginary or hypothetical context, then we have to use an Arabic equivalent for the name. Ex: George – سامي, King Edward Street – شارع محمد فريد.


Copyright names remain in English and are never translated or transliterated. As for other parties’ copyright names, the localizer can use a transliterated word if he or she is sure that the party itself uses the same name. But you have to be sure of your information. If not, we recommend that you leave those names in English.


Trademark and Product names remain in English and are never translated nor transliterated.

Terminology & Consistency

Please be consistent in translating glossary items just the same as the translations in the running texts. Please use indefinite form in translating glossary entries in each section

Terminology used

Adherence to the guidelines provided by the WordPress team is required for all technical content.

• Follow UI glossaries for software references.

• References to applications and features must be consistent with the software.


These are the general rules with regards to vocabulary.

• Use commonly-used terminologies in the business

• Use vocabularies which are not vague and are crystal clear.

• Use the vocabularies which are used in daily life by common people

• Use standard vocabularies not slangs.

Do Not Translates, False Friends & Special terms

DNT sheet should be checked and followed strictly. Also the localizer should take care of terms/phrases that are standardized or can cause problems in translations (e.g. All rights reserved جميع الحقوق محفوظة, appear يبدو , caution تنبيه, warning تحذير, note ملاحظة, checkbox خانة اختيار).


Style guides and glossaries

Please refer to the updated Arabic style guide and glossary on the link for more information:

Always refer to the terminology in the WordPress glossaries as the top priority. This standard terminology should be used in conjunction with other relevant material delivered as part of the project hand-off. If a term is not found in reference materials, please use the translation that is used most widely in the industry.