Twitter will be available in right-to-left languages by Spring
By James Ashworth
TWITTER has announced that this spring, languages that read right to left will be coming to the Twitter Translation Center, beginning with Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu.
The company said in a blog post on Wednesday that it has made sure tweets and hashtags will work in right-to-left languages. It also says it’s “made changes behind the scenes to give right-to-left language speakers a localized user experience,” although it doesn’t specify the changes.
However, people who have typed in right to left languages have often complained about alignment and justification bugs with oppositely oriented text, meaning Twitter will have to adjust to use hashtags.
The company’s translations program, powered through a network of 425,000 volunteers, has helped make Twitter available in 22 languages to date — 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 — all of which are read from left to right.
Twitter does not need to be available in a specific language for you to tweet in that language. All you need to do is type your message in your language of choice. For example, many people tout Twitter’s organising power in the Arab Spring; however, Arabic-speaking and tweeting users must interact with the site in a non-native language.
But aside from Thai, the four right-to-left languages added to Twitter are the only languages in the translation centre for which Twitter is not available.
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