Twitter started working on supporting right to left languages, back on the 25th of January and now it's finally here. The four languages that Twitter now supports are Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. The addition of these languages comes from thirteen thousand volunteers around the world working with the Twitter Translation Center to translate and localize Twitter.com. Twitter announced in a blog post that the individuals in that group of thirteen thousand come from diverse backgrounds. There was a Saudi blogger, Egyptian college students, a journalist at the BBC, IT professionals in Iran and Pakistan, an Israeli schoolteacher, the co-founders of the grassroots #LetsTweetInArabic campaign, academics specializing in linguistics, and teenagers in Lebanon. These were the people responsible for helping Twitter support right to left languages.
Right to left languages are here
Some of these individuals live in countries with oppressive regimes, including those where Twitter is blocked. Twitter says that they are now available in 28 languages from various parts of the world and right to left languages posed a specific problem, especially with tweets that contained both left to right and right to left content. To overcome this problem, Twitter's tech team built special tools to make sure tweets, retweets, hashtags and numbers behave in the proper way.
Including the above four mentioned languages, Twitter is also available in Traditional Chinese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Italian, Filipino, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish, Turkish, Danish, Malay, English, French, Korean, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, German, Russian and Dutch. The Twitter Translation Center employes about 4,25,000 volunteers from all over the world. This move of adding right to left language support is critical as the role of Twitter in the Arab Spring is pretty well known and important. Twitter users in those countries could still tweet in their native languages just by typing in those languages, however, they had to interact with Twitter in a language other than their own. And of course, hashtags weren't supported. Now, however, Twitter should be easier to use to dispense information and take appropriate action in more place where it is needed.
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