Arabic Support in Recollective

Written by Philippe Dame • Posted on January 21, 2016

According to Unesco, if you took all varieties of the Arabic language and considered them a single language, it is spoken by more than 422 million speakers. This makes it the sixth most-spoken language in the world. It's also a language used by more than 1.5 billion Muslims.The World Bank states that the Arab world, a collection of 22 countries, has a combined GDP of $2.846 trillion, which is staggering. Arabic speaking countries include:

  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • Comoros
  • Qatar
  • Djibouti
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt, Arab Rep.
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Sudan
  • Jordan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Kuwait
  • Tunisia
  • Lebanon
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Libya
  • West Bank and Gaza
  • Mauritania
  • Yemen, Rep.

Arabic is also the largest member of the Semitic language family, which also includes languages like Hebrew and Aramaic. Like most other Semitic languages, Arabic is written from right-to-left. For this reason, it's often not included in various software platforms due to the difficulty of properly adjusting the user interface to a complete right-to-left orientation as shown below.

UPDATE March 15, 2016: We've selected a new font that improves overall legibility in Arabic. The two screenshots below include this new typeface.

Ramius took on this ambitious project and is now proud to announce the availability of Arabic for the Recollective platform. A couple of our partners gained early access and have already completed their first studies in the new language. One of those partners was The Mix from London which recently conducted a study with participants in Saudi Arabia.

“Recollective was brilliant, speeding up their software build so that we could use Arabic for a project in the Middle East. The response from participants was that the site was really easy to use and respondents had no issues understanding what to do for tasks. We are very happy with the outcome and really appreciate Recollective’s flexibility and quick turnaround as per usual!”

Maud Carette
Head of Consumer Insight
The Mix

As you can see in the Recollective screenshots, not only is the interface in Arabic but the entire application had to be flipped to flow entirely from right-to-left. When non-Arabic speakers look at this, it might feel like they're looking at the application in a mirror but everything must be reversed for it to function intuitively. For example, a button used for "Next Page" must point to the left and not to the right.

The Arabic translation is carried throughout all Recollective components, including the rich-text editor and the webcam recorder.In all, Recollective now supports 12 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

UPDATE 2020: Recollective now supports 26 languages and we are adding more regularly

If you're thinking of deploying a study in the Arab world, please give us a call. If you're seeking any additional languages, please inquire as we are adding support for more languages all the time.

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