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26 May 2017

Ramadan – how does the ninth month of the Islamic calendar impact research?

Written by Maria Green, Posted in RPTInformed

Ramadan – how does the ninth month of the Islamic calendar impact research?

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will be fasting during daylight hours. Find out how this may impact any planned research, and how you can make the most of opportunities that it presents. If you haven’t factored Ramadan into your research plan don’t worry - your friendly translation and cultural experts at RP Translate are on hand to help.


When is Ramadan?

Ramadan is part of a lunar calendar and the exact dates are dependent on the appearance of the new month’s moon. Ramadan 2017, for example, is expected to begin on the evening of Friday, 26th May and to end on Saturday, 24th June.


What is Ramadan?

For the world’s estimated 2.2bn Muslims (that’s 1 in 4 people on Earth), the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, is a period of ‘sawm’ (fasting). Many people will take the time to focus even more on prayer and charitable acts while observing ‘sawm’ from dawn to sunset – provided they are healthy adults.

Before dawn, a meal called ‘suhoor’ is eaten. And under the setting sun, families and friends gather to break the fast together (with a meal known as ‘iftar’). It is common for some people to stay up into the early hours of the morning, although traditions during Ramadan can vary depending on culture. 

A three-day celebration called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ traditionally takes place at the end of Ramadan.


How will Ramadan affect my research?

mobile phone screenLet’s face it – as us linguists know, if you haven’t enough ink in your quill, you simply can’t jot down everything that you want.

So, throughout Ramadan, it’s worth being mindful that fasting may impact on productivity and performance, and that certain countries may operate reduced working hours (such as UAE, Saudi Arabia and Algeria).

However, there is a flip side to this: with surges in café culture, retail spending and reported profits, it is also seen as an ideal time for big brands to create Ramadan-specific ads and campaigns. 

Perhaps most importantly for research is the noted increase in digital and mobile usage during Ramadan. Google recently published data indicating that people across the MENA region spend more time online, using their smartphones and watching Youtube videos during Ramadan.  One study also found that social media usage is highest during the wee small hours of 12am -3am!

In short, changes to working hours and connectivity mean that it is more about how you ‘plan’ to conduct your research - it’s worth asking us if you are unsure, as we have linguistic experts all across MENA and beyond ready with locally-relevant and culturally-informed practical advice.


How RP Translate can help you during Ramadan and beyond

It is recommended that you start planning for Ramadan two months in advance in order to navigate potential scheduling and productivity pitfalls. However, there is still time for us to help – just get in touch with your friendly translation experts at RP Translate.

Our Online Survey and Community Forum translation packages take care of every last detail of the translation project for you – after all, translation is far more than just changing words from one language to another. We work with you as a trusted member of your team, to gain a full understanding of your project requirements and to offer you a solution that ensures goals are reached within specified time frames while taking every detail into consideration.

So, if you are looking to make the most of an excellent research opportunity during Ramadan and need to get a digital survey up and running, please get in touch with the team.

If you have any Arabic translations required throughout Ramadan, or indeed any other unrelated multi-lingual projects on the horizon that you think we may be able to assist you with, please just get in touch with us today – we will be delighted to hear from you!



About the Author

Maria Green

Maria Green

Maria is a BA (Hons) Psychology and Business Studies graduate with a passion for creativity, effective communication and believes that only the highest standards of quality and service will do… which is a good job really as this is what RPT do so well!

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