It’s often forgotten that a big part of Asia speaks Arabic… the Middle East, is after all is ‘West Asia’ or ‘Near East’. Arabic language came as the 8th top language used in the web with over 50 million internet users in the Middle East. The growing rate in Internet usage in the Middle East is a significant 1,907.9 %
I couldn’t believe when I heard the news about the release of an Adobe AIR desktop application for Arabic users. I’ve always had problems (like with many Arabic speakers) typing Arabic on platforms/systems that weren’t meant for right-to-left languages, especially when you mix English and Arabic alphabets. So I finally got my hands on the application and started playing around with it.
To start with, Kzalek works on Windows, Mac and Linux with full Arabic font support. The application has a very nice and smooth interface with clear icons. It has an option to translate tweets from English to Arabic. I was surprised by the quality of the translation; the tweets do remain meaningful when translated! Other cool features include Bit.ly URL shortner, Twitpic for uploading images and sound notification for new tweets and direct messaging.
This is an important step in the growing online social networking market in the Arab world. I’m sure there will be more surprises heading our way.
Below images show the tweets in Arabic and English (click to enlarge):