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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Region Focus

Right-to-left localization for mobile devices

Amr Zaki

In fact, there are a number of reasons. For one thing, there is a big market share to be had in this area in general. Secondly, there is huge potential in new categories specifically, such as banking and health care. But social and news applications still have a long way to go.

But perhaps we should first explain what right-to-left languages are in the first place. Right-to-left languages involve one of the oldest written scripts — they started with engraving on stones and wood from right to left, as most people are right handed and this seemed logical to them. There are three ways of writing scripts worldwide: left-to-right, right-to-left and vertical. Arabic script languages (which include Urdu and Farsi) and Hebrew are the only living right-to-left languages worldwide, and their scripts are often called bidirectional (bidi), because they can involve left-to-right text as well. Although some readers may think that Arabic and Hebrew scripts are similar as they are both right-to-left, there are major differences between them as may be seen in Figure 1.

Many people may think this is somewhat limiting, and that Arabic script is used only in Middle East and Arab regions. However, in actuality, it is used in many other non-Arab regions, such as Urdu Pakistan, Panjabi Pakistan, Dari Afghanistan, Uygur China, Persian Iran and Sindhi Pakistan. Like Hebrew, Arabic is also used worldwide by a subsegment of the population. . .

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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