New research from the University of Haifa in Israel suggests that reading in Arabic is more challenging than reading in English or in Hebrew.
“It emerges that the contribution of the two halves of the brain to processing written language depends on the graphic and linguistic structure of these languages,” says Dr. Raphiq Ibrahim from the Learning Disabilities Department, one of two researchers involved in the study.
Each side of the brain, which are referred to as cerebral hemispheres, is responsible for different functions within language interpretation. The left side processes verbal messages, grammar and literal translation, whereas the right side functions to process spatial tasks such as contextualisation.
The results of the study show that for readers of Hebrew and English, both sides of the brain are independently involved in the task of reading. For readers of Arabic, it was found that the right side of the brain was not able to function independently of the left side.
Further information on the study can be found here.
Want to see your Twitter homepage in another language?
Twitter.com, with the help of 13,000 volunteers, has just launched in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and Hebrew. Work started on the project on January 25th. This is the first time that Twitter has been available in right-to-left languages. Right-to-left languages previously caused problems, especially with tweets that contained both left to right and right to left content, and to overcome this problem, Twitter’s tech team have had to build special tools to make sure tweets, retweets, hashtags and numbers appear properly.
Twitter’s first foreign language launch was Japanese in April 2008. Although users have long been able to tweet in different languages, not all languages are supported on the homepage. You can now tweet in 28 different languages, with more planned additions this year.
You can file a language request if your language isn’t already supported on Twitter.
Twitter is currently looking for translators for nearly 20 languages. You can apply via Twitter’s Translation Center.