Arabic: direction of numbers and units
Thread poster: Jan Beckebrede

Jan Beckebrede  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Spanish to German
+ ...
Nov 7, 2013


We have some problems with the DTP of a brochure in Arabic (for OAE). Different arabic native translators have different opinions in this issue.

In German/English there is: 12/24 and 33% and things like that.
How must this be written in Arabic?

24/12 and %33 ?

In case, different languages appear in one brochure, how is the direction/the page numbering of the arabic part?

Thanks for help!



Nehad Hussein  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
English to Arabic
In my limited experience Nov 8, 2013

I do not think you can use ' 24/12 and %33 ' as it does not look right in Arabic. It looks to me as layout mistake. there are two options in my opinion:

1) Use Arabic number style within the text. I do not know about PDF but in Word there is such feature.

2) list the numbers as is in their English numeric style. although I do not recommend it but it is sometimes used.

but since you are talking about a brochure, option 1 is vital for the message to seem natural to your audience.

I have worked before on manual and brochures that combine different language together. We used to keep the use English numbering, usually at the bottom of the page, across the Arabic section.

As for page direction, it is reversed to the English layout. I would recommend to let Arabic native speaker to do it for you. Make sure to explain clearly to him what needs to be done. remember also to reverse any images or visuals exist in the original text.

Please feel free to ask ( free of chargeicon_smile.gif ) if you have any further questions.


Jan Beckebrede  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:19
Spanish to German
+ ...
Arabic numbers direction Nov 9, 2013

Hello and thank you for your help!

When you use arabic numbers style, the writing direction of the numbers is LTR, against the usual arabic RTL, right? So where would you locate expressions like % or °C?
To the left or to the right of the numbers?



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Arabic: direction of numbers and units

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