A Russian anti-terror squad has arrived in the port city of Tartus on the Iman oil tanker, according to ABC News. The Russian gov’t news agency, RIA Novosti‘s Arabic language site announced the arrival. The Russian embassy in the U.S. had no comment. Russia is one of Pres. Bashar Assad‘s strongest allies and has blocked numerous U.N. resolutions that call for Assad to step down.
- Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria – uh-oh! (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Thanks to the efforts of 13,000 volunteers worldwide, Twitter is now available in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, according to a company blog post. Twitter had been working on translating and localizing these right-to-left languages since January 25.
These languages posed unique challenges for Twitter. To overcome technical barriers, Twitter’s engineering team had to build a new set of special tools to ensure that these tweets, hashtags and numbers would behave as their counterparts in left-to-right languages.
Not only that, but some of these languages are spoken — and therefore will be tweeted — in locations where Twitter is officially blocked.
Twitter was a recognizable force in the Arab Spring — but given that there wasn’t yet an Arabic interface, most of the users who tweeted from those regions did so in non-native languages.
And Twitter’s numerous volunteer translators for these right-to-left languages —from Lebanese teenagers to Egyptian college students to IT professionals in Iran and Pakistan, among others — live in these areas as well. “Their efforts speak volumes about the lengths that people will go to make Twitter accessible and understandable for their communities,” the company said in its blog post.
Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu join Thai as the only right-to-left languages in Twitter’s translation center. Their incorporation means the service is now available in 28 languages.