Calls for more Arabic content online
Standard, rather than colloquial dialects, will do more to integrate and enhance Arabic language online presence, expert says.
June 28, 2010 5:25 by Rasha Reslan
At a media conference held in Dubai this week, experts urge Arab communities to embrace standard Arabic, rather than regional dialects, on the web, Ameinfo reported.
Mohamed Elzubeir, Managing Director, Mediastow, sponsor of the digital marketing conference said that ” colloquial Arabic will hinder the development of the Arab web by having 22 versions used on the web, instead of having one language used by 22 countries, reducing the impact of our language with the outside world.”
Elzubeir stressed that the use of standard Arabic would help address the current lack of Arabic content on the web — a cycle he says discourages Arabic language searches, leading to less incentive for creators to publish content in Arabic.
“Arabic is the language of government, media, education and businesses for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the real issue lies in using a standard Arabic that everyone understands in the Arab world so that our content on the web becomes bigger in size and usage,” he added.
An estimated 20 percent of Arabic speakers have internet access – as much as 100 million users – but observers say online Arabic content amounts to only 1.4 percent.