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Nokia changes Israeli street names from Hebrew to Arabic

By Mason White 1:51 PM February 20, 2013
Nokia maps showing Hebrew street names in Arabic 

By: David Ross
What happened after Nokia and Microsoft, have decided to translate the names of streets in Israel from Hebrew to English? Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv became Kablan Street, Pinkas Street became Binkas Street and Arlozorov Street became Arlozorof Street.

Nokia, which provides maps for various phone companies, demonstrated a lack of sensitivity and has turned names of streets with Jewish names to Arabic sounding names, apparently without realizing that some Israeli consumers will not even understand the newly named streets. More examples include, Talpiyot to Talbiyot, and David to Dafid.

Nokia maps come on products that the company provides, such as navigation and online maps, as well as when it exports the maps to Bing Maps, which is Microsoft’s mapping service.

Sheeran Baruch, who is a director of Nokia Maps in Israel, explained that the company’s maps come in four Languages: English, Arabic, Russian and Hebrew.

“Every language has its transcript and at the present time, the English version is transcribed from Arabic,” Baruch said.
Nokia is in no hurry to fix the problem and a corrected translation will only be released at the end of the month. “It’s not insensitive, but accidental,” Baruch added.