Transcreation of US English articles for English of Middle East - advice needed
Thread poster: Rubric Ltd

Rubric Ltd
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:41
Mar 18, 2013

Hi all,

A potential client has asked us to localize/transcreate articles (parenting content) written in US English into English for the Middle East.

My first query is will these be very different versions?

Also, would English for the Middle East be sufficient or it is region-specific as well? Thus is this country-specific or region-specific?

Lastly, I would like to have an idea of the costs, is this something that translators would charge more?

Please feel free to also contact me on and let me know if you are interested in this task. There will also be English into Arabic translations but the transcreation task sounds a bit more complicated to me.

Any responses are greatly appreciated!



Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:41
Dutch to English
+ ...
Essentially British English Mar 19, 2013

Hi Aspa,

I'm a bit surprised that your client has specified "English for the Middle East" because that is not a widely-recognized category in the industry (or among linguists of English). It could potentially mean either (a) English as spoken by the native English speakers from other parts of the world who reside and work in Middle Eastern countries, or (b) English as spoken and understood by Arabs native to the Middle East.

In either case (and (b) is more likely what the client meant), you essentially need to convert the texts from U.S. to British English. English education and media in almost all Middle Eastern countries is British English (with the exception of a few strongly U.S.-focused businesses and bilateral military relationships). This is most pronounced in the arc of countries that used to be British mandates, stretching from Bahrain through Iraq to Jordan (which has arguably the most impeccably British English of the whole region), Egypt and Sudan. But even Syria and Lebanon, former French mandates, have excellent English among the population, which likewise is heavily British in type (with the exception of some Lebanese who have links with Australia). The Arabian Peninsula countries, likewise, are heavily British English in their English usage: Saudi Arabia, Yemen (South Yemen was formerly Aden) and Oman still have close connections with British institutions, and Qatar and of course the UAE have many British teachers and professionals in them.

There is no standard "Middle Eastern English" variant, nor is there any noticeable difference in English usage between the Middle Eastern countries.

If by any chance your client had meaning (a) above in mind, then you would need to rewrite the texts in a style that was understandable to English speakers from the Indian subcontinent, where the bulk of English-speaking workers in the Middle East come from.

[Edited at 2013-03-19 09:46 GMT]


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Transcreation of US English articles for English of Middle East - advice needed

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