Twitter adds four more languages—but not Arabic

Danish, Finnish, Polish, and Norwegian are now on Twitter's menu.

 

Fernando Alfonso III

Internet Culture

Published Dec 22, 2011   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:33 pm CDT

Twitter users from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Poland can breathe a sigh of relief—and dump their Google Translate bookmarks.

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Their native tongues are the latest to be added to the microblogging platform. Twitter Inc. made the announcement Wednesday.

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But that move continues to leave tens of millions of Twitter’s loyal users in the lurch, linguistically speaking.

Twitter now supports 21 different languages. In July 2010, half of the messages broadcast over its network were in English. As of October, that had dropped to less than four in ten.

Some of the other recent languages added the platform include Spanish and French in 2009 and  Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Indonesian, Filipino, and Malay this past summer.

The biggest hole in Twitter’s linguistic lineup remains Arabic. Developers and ordinary users have repeatedly requested that Twitter add it. Despite the lack of a native-language option on Twitter.com, it has seen explosive growth throughout Arab-speaking countries in the past year. Activists and ordinary citizens made extensive use of Twitter to report on developments in the Arab Spring revolutions that swept through North Africa and the Middle East over the past year.

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*First Published: Dec 22, 2011, 8:00 am CST