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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Twitter introduces Arabic ‘feminine’ language setting to address women 


Twitter updates its language setting to better address and acknowledge female Arabic-speaking users. 

Twitter introduced on Tuesday a new website setting to allow users to choose another Arabic language option that better addresses females, in an attempt to make the social media platform more user friendly.

“We want our service to reflect the voices that shape the conversations that take place on our service,” said Rasha Fawakhiri, Twitter’s communications head for the Middle East and North Africa.

Twitter says it is the first social media site to take such a move and hopes to launch similar options to other languages in the future.

“We want to provide people with the option of how they prefer to be addressed,” she said.

Previously, Twitter users only had the option to use Arabic in the male form, which can in some contexts be used for gender-neutral purposes or unknown subjects.

The Arabic language is gendered with each verb, noun and adjective written and pronounced differently depending on the gender of the subject being addressed.  

However, the new feature enables users to address and be addressed in the feminine form. 

For example, people can now use “gharridi” which is the Arabic female form of “Tweet”, rather than the default Arabic translation, which is “gharrid”. The ‘explore’ option has been adjusted as well to suit women, with an option addressing women. 

Along with the update, the social media giant launched the hashtag  أتحدث_بالمؤنث# (I Speak in the feminine form) to raise awareness about the new feature. 

The company said it is also working on other gender-neutral future projects as part of a non-binary gender language option.

“We’re committed to using inclusive language at Twitter, regardless if it’s written down, shown on our site and apps, or embedded in our code,” it said in a statement.

How to activate

To activate the feature, log in to your account, go to “Settings and privacy,” then “Accessibility, display, and languages,” select “Languages” and go to “Display language”.

Next, select “Arabic (feminine)” from the “Display language”. The display language on Twitter will then address you in the Arabic feminine form.

“We know there’s more work to be done for our service to reflect the variety of voices around the world, and we’ll continue to share what we learn and how we update Twitter based on your feedback,” the social media giant said.

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