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Friday, May 22, 2015

Region Focus

Language technology in Saudi Arabia

Mansour Alghamdi, Mohamed Alkanhal & Faisal Alshuwaier

With the advancement in communication and information technology and their widespread usage, Saudi Arabia is a leading country in mobile penetration rates and Arabic applications, including internet and social networks. Arabic is the first language of the 18 million Saudis, while English is the second.

Since Saudis tend to use Arabic in most mobile and PC applications, more research and development need to be done on human language technology with more focus on Arabic. The institution that is in charge of the advancement of Saudi Arabia in science and technology is King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). It is an independent scientific organization that is in charge of Saudi Arabian national science labs, and is involved in science and technology policy making, data collection, funding of external research and providing services such as the patent office. 

KACST was directed by its 1986 charter to propose a national policy for the development of science and technology, and to devise the strategy and plans necessary to implement them. In accordance with this charter, KACST launched a comprehensive effort in collaboration with the ministry of economy and planning, and other public and private sectors, to develop a long-term national policy for science and technology. The policy was approved by the council of ministers in July 2002. . .

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Above excerpt taken from the December 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe

December, 2012