|Date: 17/05/2012 Time: 02:12:00 PM
Director of the Saudi National Program for
Internet Content Professor Mansour M. Alghamdi urged Arab universities and
youth to help increase the Arabic content on the Internet through "Wiki Arabi
"We want to spread awareness and knowledge among all walks of life in the
Arab world," Alghamdi told KUNA on sideline his participation in World
Information Summit, currently held here.
"We aim to build a society of science, culture and technology and this goal
could not be achieved without a big Arabic content on the Internet."
He pointed out that the "Wiki Arabic 2" initiative is meant to encourage
Arab educational institutions, particularly universities, and youth to
increase their contribution to the world free encyclopedia (Wikipedia).
He noted out that reports show that internet users are greatly interested
in articles in the native languages, lamenting the fact that the Arabic
content on Wikipedia is so modest compared with other languages.
With 280 languages available on Wikipedia, Arabic is ranked at number 27 in
terms of volume.
While Norwegian is spoken by 4.6 million people, there are 300,000 articles
on Wikipedia in the language. Finnish is spoken by 5 million people, and there
are 273,000 articles on Wikipedia in the language.
In comparison, there are only 154,000 articles in Arabic, despite the fact
that there are roughly 374 million Arabic speakers, making it the fifth most
commonly spoken language in the world. Wikipedia's Arabic articles account for
a measly 0.007 percent of its overall content.
Alghamdi suggested that the shortage in Arabic content could be met through
translation of the best foreign articles that are relevant to the Arabic
He disclosed that King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)
has launched "Wiki Arabi 1" project with the goal of translating 2000 articles
in advanced technologies including water technology, nanotechnology,
biotechnology, information technology, health and medicine from English
Wikipedia into Arabic Wikipedia.
The translation was carried out by KACST and Saudi universities. More than
2100 articles have been translated with a high record of reading.