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In 2011, this author lived in the Middle East and learned that his Egyptian friends often texted, emailed, and Facebook chatted using latin characters. They wrote in Arabic, but they didn’t use Arabic letters. Instead they transliterated Arabic words into the same alphabet that English uses. Many shops already wrote their signs in English. Did this portend a decline of the use of the Arabic script?

New research suggests that the digital future of Arabic is secure. But thousands of other languages may never make the leap into the digital age. A full 96% of the world’s 6,000+ languages appear to be dead when it comes to use on cell phones, laptops, and tablets, meaning that the Internet could be to languages what a certain comet was to the dinosaurs. 

Posted via a mobile Android device.


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