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Twitter Moves Right-To-Left, Adds Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, and Urdu

    March 6, 2012
    Josh Wolford
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In January, Twitter added four new right-to-left languages to their Translation Center, the crowdsourcing project that allows users from multiple different languages to help translate Twitter (the service, not the actual tweets). Now, they’ve announced that the work is complete and you can now interact with Twitter in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and Urdu.

According to the Twitter blog, this particular project was the work of 13,000 volunteers. Over 425,000 people have contributed to translating Twitter since the Translation Center was launched in February, 2011.

We just launched Twitter in #Arabic, #Farsi, #Hebrew, #Urdu. Change your language settings, and try it out! http://t.co/BowHIhKG 35 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The translation was performed by students, journalists, and even IT professionals. Twitter says that the right-to-left languages took a little extra work to make sure they turned out right:

These 13,000 volunteers are a vibrant and diverse group. Among those who donated their time and translation skills to make right-to-left languages a reality on Twitter: 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.

Right-to-left languages posed a unique technical challenge, particularly with Tweets containing both right-to-left and left-to-right content. To solve this, our engineering team built a new set of special tools to ensure these Tweets, hashtags and numbers all look and behave correctly.

As of right now, Twitter is available in 28 different languages.