An Urdu version of Whatsapp will soon be available on the Android platform, Whatsapp Translation Administrator Ahsan Saeed announced on Monday.
The translation process started three years ago, while the final moderation process took three months, Saeed told The Express Tribune, adding that the whole process was driven by volunteers.
“I translated 753 strings and moderated 2,089 strings in less than three months and made Urdu [the]18th language in which WhatsApp for Android has been fully translated,” Saeed said in a Facebook post.
Since Whatsapp users can already communicate in Urdu using an Urdu keyboard, Saeed said his efforts were geared towards localising the app itself for Urdu users. This included translating everything from the menus to the settings.
Saeed, who had already been working with Twitter as an Urdu localisation moderator since 2012, signed up when Whatsapp called volunteers for their translation project. Around three months ago when the Whatsapp Urdu moderation process started, Saeed was promoted to Translation Administrator.
In case you are wondering if there really is a need for an Urdu version of Whatsapp, Saeed assures that a large proportion of Pakistani mobile internet users prefer Urdu. “It would also be beneficial for those looking to get connected with their national language again.”
The most interesting aspect of these volunteer-driven translation projects is that the individuals involved dedicate their energies entirely out of love for their languages. Now that Android has taken the lead in translating one of the most popular apps in Pakistan to Urdu, it remains to be seen if Whatsapp Urdu will be coming to iOS or Windows Phone next.