DUBAI // Micro-blogging site Twitter has launched its long-awaited Arabic service, along with versions in three other right-to-left languages.
The announcement was made by San Francisco-based Twitter spokeswoman Jodi Olson, who said: “Today we’re launching Twitter in four new languages. We first added these four languages to the Twitter Translation Center on January 25.
"Thirteen thousand volunteers around the world immediately got to work, translating and localizing Twitter.com into these languages in record time.
“Thanks to their contributions, Twitter is now available in right-to-left languages. These 13,000 volunteers are a vibrant and diverse group.”
She said the translators who worked on the project included a Saudi blogger, Egyptian college students, a journalist at the BBC, IT professionals in Iran and Pakistan, academics specialising in linguistics and teenagers in Lebanon.
And she paid tribute to the co-founders of the grassroots Taghreedat, or Letstweetinarabic, initiative.
The project was launched by Qatar-based Sami Mustafa Al Mubarak and Mina Nagy Michel Takla, and 400 volunteer translators in the UAE helped to work on the initial stages of the translation process.
Users were previously able to tweet in Arabic, but the entire website has now been translated into the language.
Users can access the Arabic version by clicking on the “person” icon, selecting setting on the drop-down menu and changing the language to Arabic.
The other new languages are Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu.
The move was warmly welcomed on Twitter. Taghreedat tweeted: “Big thanks to 3,500 Arab volunteers in Taghreedat’s Twitter Arabization Project and over 5,000 translators at Twitter’ Translation Center!”
Keen Twitter user and FNC member Noura Al Kaabi (Abu Dhabi) tweeted: “Arabic interface is now available on twitter. A huge thank you goes to @Taghreedat team!”