Trolling Trump with an Arabic billboard


Originally published at:


Considering that Arabic reads right-to-left, doesn’t this actually say “pmurT dlanoD” can’t read this?


Asway eyay owsay,
osay allshay eyay eapray,
eyay orangeway uckingfay oserlay.


If English (and I presume text in other left-to-right languages) are embedded in Arabic it stays in that left-to-right direction.


Not sure if you’re serious or not, but in my experience working with software localization, words in LTR written languages (such as English) are written LTR inline with the RTL Arabic. I think Hebrew works the same.


It was a legitimate query-- or I guess a realization that Arabic/Hebrew readers have to be “visually ambidextrous” when other languages are quoted within their native script (obviously the same goes when those languages appear in English/Russian/et al, assuming you can read them.)


Heh. I remember an instruction manual (for a kitchen appliance) that my mother showed me as a kid (when I was attending Hebrew school pretty much daily). I took it and was able to read it pretty easily, and I didn’t notice that they had accidentally printed it in mirror writing until she pointed it out, and we both had a good laugh.


It just occurred to me how much the Nuisance Committee sounds like something from the Illuminatus trilogy.


Zero was invented by the “A-rabs” (Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi). Guess that means they also invented Herr Trump.



Trumpiss cared.


I think it was actually the Indians. Europe got it from the Arabs who had adopted it first through Persia.

They did invent Al-kohol, though.


Occasionally we’re visually ambidextrous in English. We write $5 but say “five dollars.”


Couldn’t they write “Donald Trump” in Arabic? I realize Arabic has no O or P, but couldn’t they do an approximation?

ETA Donald Trump in Arabic is دونالد ترامب


The Troll wouldn’t be nearly as effective. You need the “Yes, we are talking about YOU”, aspect to stoke the paranoia.


But then, how would he know that it’s about him?


I think it would be even more effective. “What’s it saying? I don’t know! They’re planning jihad!”


It’s a two-stage delivery: the first stage is noticing Donald Trump’s name next to some Arabic. That raises a question in the (Anglophone) viewer’s mind anchored to a specific item. That arouses their attention for the explanation when they seek it out or come across it, which delivers the joke: that it’s designed just to arouse Trump’s paranoia.

Just putting up some Arabic won’t arouse the same curiosity, may even work against it: it would just be a random bit of foreign gibberish, no more significant than an ad for dry-cleaning. The viewer wouldn’t seek out an explanation, and might not even link an explanation overheard to the ad.

Next kitten?


Somehow I thought of this:

I’m not sure if an all-black all-Arabic billboard would cause this reaction, or if Arabic billboards are common in Detroit. If they’re common, adding the name Donald Trump to one would just cause a reaction of “oh look, Arabs for Trump. Moving on…”


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.