May 28, 2012 - 16:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Yahoo Maktoob, the Middle Eastern arm of Yahoo, has acquired a license to use the technology behind the Arabic transliteration tool, Yamli, The Next Web reported.
Co-founded by Habib Haddad, the brains behind YallaStartup and currently CEO of Middle Eastern entrepreneurial platform Wamda, Yamli launched in 2007. It was the first online service of its kind, allowing Arabic speakers to interact in their native tongue, without the need for an Arabic keyboard. Users type Arabic words in Latin letters, and Yamli instantly transforms the text into the Arabic equivalent.
The licensing acquisition means that Yahoo has paid for all of Yamli’s technologies, and its backend, which will be integrated into its properties.
Yahoo has been one of the few foreign companies that has had its eye on the Middle East, starting with its 2009 acquisition of Maktoob. It is also one of a few parties focused on increasing the amount of Arabic content online, having most recently teamed up with BBC Arabic for its latest initiative.
Yamli currently processes about 150 million words per month, for a total of 3.5 billion words.
In addition to converting English text into Arabic, Yamli also has a built-in search engine, and the service makes it incredibly easy to keep up with all of Arabic needs on the go, with its iOS app. A public API has also seen to it that Yamli has been integrated into a variety of Arabic websites.