Twitter is as global as it gets when it comes to social networking, and the company has been adding official support for new languages pretty quickly as of late. The company has a translation center where it adds requests for its community to localize Twitter in specific languages. Those users then go about doing it on a volunteer basis.
Here’s a look at what users see once they sign up, pick a language, and agree to keeping new features that they might see to themselves:
By adding Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, Twitter now supports right-to-left languages for the first time. The company says that it currently has 13,000 volunteers actively localizing all of Twitter’s sites, emails, and apps into different languages. It’s a similar approach to how Facebook handles its localization.
Including the above four mentioned languages, Twitter is also available in 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. The Twitter Translation Center employees about 4,25,000 volunteers from all over the world. This move of adding right to left language support is critical as the role of Twitter in the Arab Spring is pretty well known and important. Twitter users in those countries could still tweet in their native languages just by typing in those languages, however, they had to interact with Twitter in a language other than their own. And of course, hashtags weren’t supported. Now, however, Twitter should be easier to use to dispense information and take appropriate action in more place where it is needed.