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Obama Tweets in Farsi (and Hashtag-ese)

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 24 2009

In the opening remarks to his press conference yesterday, President Barack Obama adopted a stronger tone against the violence and repression in Iran than he had previously, saying "suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away." Fair enough. But can translating them give them legs? After the event, a notable Farsi-language tweet popped up in the White House's Twitter stream. Google Translate's new Farsi-to-English option gives a rough translation as "President Obama's remarks in his press conference about Iran with Persian." The Washington Post's Scott Wilson has the details on the Obama White House's multilingual outreach, including a note from the White House that intention behind the translation is so that "the Iranian people could read it in their own language."

But if the Obama White House now speaks Farsi, it also seems fairly fluent in Twitter. Worth noting is how the White House adopted the #iranelection hashtag -- a signal that they see themselves as part of an ongoing, global conversation.