Tag Archives: native language

Progress in the Middle East – if you measure by the number of Facebook users

There are growing signs of progress in the Middle East, if you measure by the total number of Facebook users. That number has skyrocketed since 2010, going from 15 million to near 40 million.

Of those users, a growing number are starting to prefer using the site in their own native language, Arabic.

Of the 39+ million Arabic users on Facebook, 39% prefer to view the site in their native language, while 36% like it in English.

As more users in the region are coming online, with an obvious desire to access sites in Arabic, there is a rising demand for content that appeals to them, and quite a few social media sites are trying to meet that demand.

Twitter recently added support for right-to-left languages, including in Arabic, while Storify is working with a team of volunteers in the Middle East to translate their interface into Arabic.

Arabic is one of the fastest growing languages on sites like Twitter and Wikipedia, and with Yahoo having just licensed the technology behind smart transliteration tool Yamli, it is becoming increasingly easy for Arabic speakers to interact in their mother tongue online.

via The Next Web

 

The numbers are not overwhelming, by any means, considering that there are 152 million users in the U.S. and 232 million in Europe, but it is a positive sign.

 

// Photo – Sean MacEntee