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Complex Alphabets Present Formidable Texting Obstacles

Text messaging has become ingrained as a communicative tool, and its use has skyrocketed over the past year. But, some analysts are claiming that despite texting's rapidly increasing worldwide popularity, current methods definitely tend to be ethnocentric.

Multi-tap keys and predictive texting greatly aid languages whose alphabets consist of a limited number of characters or letters, but dialects like Chinese and Russian present significant obstacles to tapping out rapid-fire messages. Chinese folks who want to engage in quick and easy text exchanges are challenged by imposing dialects that can involve up to 22,000 characters. Because of those staggering obstacles, texters have been forced to adopt handy techniques and tricks, which the Economist recently investigated.

Touchscreens have helped offset the cultural texting dilemma somewhat, as people can sketch characters that their devices can subsequently recognize. Access to those devices is limited though, because the technology is still relatively expensive. So, the next time you're complaining about the tediousness of a multi-tap keyboard, or the idiosyncrasies of predictive texting, just try to imagine yourself with someone else's thumbs. [From: The Economist]

Tags: predictive texting, PredictiveTexting, t9, text messaging, texting, TextMessaging, top