Twitter has announced support for right-to-left script languages by launching editions for Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. Following the announcement, Twitter is now available in 28 languages including the newly added ones. The company had added support for Hindi in September 2011.
Twitter, which takes a crowdsourced approach for translating and localizing its interface to various languages through its Translation center, claims that this launch was a result of a month-long contribution from 13,000 (thirteen thousand) volunteers in its translation center, following the addition of right-to-left languages including Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu in January 2012.
Still no transliteration support? Similar to the Hindi edition, these editions do not allow users to tweet in any of the newly supported languages yet, but the interface has been revamped so as to suit right-to-left language users and all terms seem to have been translated. Like we said earlier, Transliteration is important since the proliferation of Indic language keyboards and mobile phones in India is minuscule. Why doesn’t Twitter integrate a transliteration service, allowing users to tweet in the language of their choice?
That being said, Twitter claims that adding support for these right-to-left script languages has been a technical challenge, since tweets consisted of both right-to-left and left-to-right content, and that it had to make sure that tweets and hashtags worked properly in right-to-left languages for which, its engineering team had to build a new set of tools.