"Spotted in Hamburg March 20th 2022"
via emailJan 25th 2023
A collection of things that are not Arabic.
Nope, Not Arabic is an archive of things that are not Arabic. It documents instances of butchered Arabic script in public, from major motion pictures to billboards to video games and everything in between.
Computers are designed to handle the subset of the Latin script required to manipulate American English first and foremost. Every other writing system is an afterthought, and Arabic is particularly poorly served. Most of the images in this archive are the result of non-Arab graphic designers pasting Arabic text into mainstream graphic design software that cannot handle anything but Latin characters and not checking with a native speaker.
Contact me on Mastodon or email with a screenshot or photograph and information on where and when you saw it and I will be happy to add it to the archive. You should also contact the people responsible, if possible, and tell them they are embarrassing themselves and offending a billion people.
My article at The Increment gets into it.>
Hi, I'm Ramsey Nasser and I do research into the hidden cultural assumptions present in computing among other things. Arabic is my native language so I lose sleep over this shit.
This archive was originally on tumblr but as that platform has degraded over the years I decided to move everything to a git repo where I have more control over the content.
"I received this from the Dutch government yesterday giving info in vaccinations."
via emailJan 13th 2023
"Seen on a bodega in Bed-Stuy.
Bonus points — the Hebrew is also backwards, the diacritics are nonsensical, and Hebrew is not a language spoken in the neighborhood — that would be yiddish, a completely different language written in the same script."
via emailJul 31st 2022
"the model is 'Topher DiMaggio'
he has it for ten years or more
it's supposed meaning is: the journey (of my life) means a lot"
via emailJun 23rd 2022
"I saw this on a 2009 movie called 'Gamer' starring Gerard Butler."
via emailApr 20th 2022
"I saw this at the entrance of a small mall in Germany and it hurt my eyes and heart."
via emailJun 9th 2021
"An ad I received from Ubisoft regarding one of their upcoming games, Scott Pilgrim."
via email from Mohammed Maher AbedDec 18th 2020
(BREAKING NEWS) no one working at the the late show can read arabic via my family whatsapp group chatOct 24th 2018
Spotted in Peleng Island by my parents, who confirm that this is not, in fact, Arabic.Feb 20th 2018
¡̣̥̫͎̼͍͝ǝ̰̙̲ǹ͖̩u̱̝̠̳̪ǝ̭ʌ̛̫̹̻̰̪̻u̩̺̥͓̟͠ͅǝᴉq̳͝ͅ via canttouchthisifyouaintblackDec 5th 2017
via aleadras: “In Málaga, Andalusia. Campaign against sexual harrassment. “No” means “no”, but “al” means… ?”Jul 15th 2017
via Nick D: “I was putting together Arabic examples for a presentation and happened to notice this restaurant Did you mean قبلة ?”Jul 11th 2017
via Nick D: “From the trailer for the new ‘The Mummy’ movie” We’d need a whole other blog to address the tired racist stereotype of a masked Arab firing a rocket, but for now, no, that sign in the background is not Arabic.Jul 11th 2017
via hellpe: “From Legion S01E01. Not Arabic, am I right?” you are as right as they are wrong, my friend.Jul 11th 2017
From the national broadcasting corporation in Spain, RTVE: القسم العربي via aleadrasJul 11th 2017
You should get a refund on whatever you paid for that sign, because that’s not Arabic. via @sygmaFeb 2nd 2017
My “shopping” won’t be “happy” until you get the “Arabic” right. via moustafachamliDec 31st 2016
We’ll use blockchains and modern cryptography to reimagine DNS and shed all its problems! Well, not all its problems…Aug 16th 2016
A wild POKÉMON GO appeared!
It used COMMON ARABIC RENDERING BUG!
It’s SUPER EFFECTIVE!
ARABIC SPEAKERS have FAINTED!
Can’t tell what you were going for, but you didn’t arrive at Arabic, friend. via @sygmaNov 12th 2015
You wanted مقاتل, which means fighter, but you got م ق ا ت ل, which just means ignorant motherfucker.Aug 29th 2015
HEAR Asbestor? THINK Prevention! READ Something that isn’t close to Arabic via TwitterMar 29th 2015
Threes is a game about matching numbers, not Arabic letters on the high score page.Mar 3rd 2015
The word ‘chocolate’ in a variety of languages, except of course Arabic, which is no where to be found. Via Salman AljammazFeb 2nd 2015
It may be the best website of 2015, but that’s not Arabic. Appreciate aligning it to the right, though!Jan 12th 2015
Sublime Text is my editor of choice, and a brilliant piece of software, unless you’re developing an Arabic programming language in it…Dec 21st 2014
UPDATE This has been fixed! Thank you for caring! Twine is a great story telling platform, unless your story is in ArabicDec 21st 2014
DICE spent a lot of time making Battlefield 4 look super pretty and polished, except the ArabicNov 26th 2014