Although the Arabic speaking community in Second Life is quite large, Second Life is still not capable of “understanding” Arabic. It does display Arabic letters but they are not connected so that it it almost impossible to read. The community has campaigned a lot for this feature to be implemented but to no avail.
So, most have resorted to writing Arabic based on a mixture of Latin letters and some numbers that represented those Arabic letters that are not in the Latin alphabet.
One Arab SL user, however, developed an online flash converter that converts Arabic text into Arabic which Second Life displays correctly. These are the steps:
- copy a text written in Arabic into the first box,
- click the convert button (the orange button between the two text boxes),
- copy the text displayed in the second box (the converted text),
- paste this text into the Second Life text chat window or a notecard.
Of course, this is not an ideal solution for live conversations, but it’s great for Arabic language lessons and for notecards when one has time to prepare the text in advance.