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Xinjiang launches Uygur language microblogging service

(Xinhua)

08:59, March 02, 2012

URUMQI, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Authorities of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have launched a microblogging service in the Uygur language, the mother tongue of more than 9.65 million inhabitants of the region, the government announced Thursday.

The microblogging service in trial operation (www.barmu.cn) is operated by Tianshannet.com, the regional government's official website.

"The service is the first online platform for the Uygur-speaking people to communicate with their government in their language," said Eliti Sali, a deputy head of the Xinjiang government's information office.

The office also on Thursday launched its official microblog "Xinjiang Announce" at t.qq.com, Tencent's popular microblogging site.

The office's account "Xinjiang Announce" on Sina Weibo in Mandarin Chinese has attracted more than 370,000 fans since it was launched on Dec. 27, 2011. More than a thousand microblogs have been posted, the official said.

The Uygur language, based on the Arabic alphabet, is part of the Tujue (Turks) branch of the Altaic language family. In Xinjiang, ethnic residents lack basic Mandarin language skills due to inadequate education while many Han officials from inland provinces lack Uygur language skills. The government has organized massive language classes to bridge the gaps.

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