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Twitter now available in Arabic

Twitter rolls out right-to-left language versions

Twitter is now available in 28 languages.
Twitter is now available in 28 languages.

Twitter has unveiled new versions of its micro-blogging service that allow right-to-left languages, including Arabic, for the first time.

The service has added Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, versions bringing the number of languages it is available in to 28.

Twitter said that 13,000 volunteers had helped to translate the service, and while it said that "right-to-left languages posed a unique technical challenge" its engineers had built a new set of special tools to ensure these Tweets, hashtags and numbers all look and behave correctly. Some material, such as subject hashtags and members' account names will still need to be included in left-to-right format however.

In a statement on its company blog, Twitter praised the efforts of volunteers: "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.

"Some of these volunteers live in regions where Twitter is officially blocked. Their efforts speak volumes about the lengths people will go to make Twitter accessible and understandable for their communities."