Amazon Kindle to Support Arabic Language Materials

27 Jun

“Amazon announced today that Kindle customers around the globe can now enjoy reading from a growing selection of more than 12,000 Arabic language Kindle books on Kindle devices and the free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and Fire Tablets. Starting today, readers will find a large digital selection of popular Arabic language titles in the Kindle Store including books from leading authors like Naguib Mahfouz, and Nizar Qabani, best-sellers like Al Aswad Yaliko Biki and Harbo Alkalbi Athania (winner of the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction), classics like Ibn Khaldoun’s Muqadimah, Al-Mutanabbi’s anthology, and Kalila wa Dimna as well as translated English language bestsellers like How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDiary of a Wimpy Kid, A Tale of Two Cities and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” (Amazon Press Release)

kindle-242594_960_720This will provide easier access to Arabic titles and other English language bestsellers to the Arabic-speaking population across the globe. I’m not quite sure the reason behind not being able to access Arabic language materials through the eBook format before this time, but whether it had to do with the font or the limited print runs which might mean a smaller audience looking for these titles, regardless of the reason – this makes reading even more accessible around the globe as many people carry cell phones today and can read from the free Kindle app.

This is even more exciting as I hope it means Amazon is looking to reach out to support other languages in the future. From what I can gather on their website, Kindles can currently (and easily) support a number of Roman alphabet-based languages, but often has more difficulty with cursive or character based languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, etc.  With this new support for Arabic, readers can adjust and highlight text as necessary making this support even more helpful.

For more information about Arabic language support, check out Engadget’s article or the article on c|net.


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