Twitter announced languages read right to left would be coming to the Twitter Translation Center, beginning with Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. Twitter will become fully available in those four languages later this spring, once volunteer translators have completed their work.
The company said in a blog post Wednesday it has made sure tweets and hashtags will work in right-to-left languages. It also says it’s “made changes behind the scenes to give right-to-left language speakers a localized user experience,” although it doesn’t specify the changes.
As someone who often types in a right-to-left language, I can attest that programs often have alignment/justification bugs with oppositely-oriented text. It will be interesting to see how Twitter’s hashtags adjust.
The company’s translations program, powered through a network of 425,000 volunteers, has helped make Twitter available in 22 languages to date — 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 — all of which are read from left to right.
Aside from Thai, the four right-to-left languages added to Twitter are the only languages in the translation center for which Twitter is not available.
Twitter does not need to be available in a specific language for you to tweet in that language. All you need to do is type your message in your language of choice. For example, many people tout Twitter’s organizing power in the Arab Spring; however, those Arabic-speaking and tweeting users must interact with the site in a non-native language.
Are you looking forward to Twitter in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew or Urdu? Do you think it will help grow the microblog’s member base in the Middle East and South Asia?
Thsrs offers a very simple online service. It bills itself as "the shorter thesaurus," offering you less lengthy synonyms for a long word. Perfect for language snobs who'd rather change their choice of vocab than abbrev8, it's also available as a browser plug-in.
This free and simple service offers some rather interesting info. In addition to showing the most-used words on Twitter overall, and the most-used words in people's first tweets (go check it out yourself -- we won't ruin the surprise), it will also show what words you tweet the most.
If you don't know the difference between "twad" and "twadd," or worse still "twander" and "twandle," then maybe you should head on over to Twittonary and brush up on some vocab. Allow extra time for perusing the T words, of course -- there's quite a few of those. Twictionary offers similar, but is not as pretty.
Great for settling "what's the most popular?" arguments, Twitter Tussle will analyze two words and, after the cartoon birds have finished their fight, reveal which enjoys the most TPM (tweets per minute). It's a fun, slightly addictive way to take the pulse of Twitter text.
When you just can't shave your tweet down to 140, this service will help, primarily by making it look like a teenage girl wrote it. Jest aside, it's a handy service that will give you some acceptable abbreviation ideas if you're really struggling to self-edit. Twitterative offers a similar service.
Tweet Psych sits you on the sofa and analyzes the language of your tweets to give you a run-down of just what it is your Twitter vocab says about your mental state. It works by comparing how many times you tweet certain words ("work," "sex," positive and negative sentiments, etc.) to the average, offering you a snapshot of how you stack up versus the rest of the Tworld.
If cryptic hashtags have you stumped, then you can turn to tagdef for the answer. The site offers up trending, new, popular and random tags, but you can look up specific examples to find out if they are just a typo or they really exist. Another option along these lines worth mentioning is What the Hashtag?!.
If you need to tweet in a foreign language, this service can help. Powered by Google Translator, Twinslater offers the added bonus of posting one, or both, of your tweets to Twitter directly from the site. We'd be prepared for some "please put your aunt in the teacup" translation hilarity, but as a basic service to help you be briefly bilingual, it works.