Most people take touch-typing on their keyboards for granted. But for Arabic-speaking students, a differently configured keyboard with Arabic characters has meant that traditional methods to teach touch-typing weren’t applicable.

This has all changed since Israeli company Sight & Sound developed the world’s first touch-typing course in Arabic. They’ve successfully tested the course in a pilot program in Israeli Arab schools and hope to market it soon to the rest of the Arab world.

“Learning to touch type in Arabic is more complicated than in English or Hebrew — the touch typing machines and the computer keyboards are totally different and it can cause a lot of confusion,” Sight & Sound CEO Elad Gross told Israel21c. “Our Touch Typing Technology (TTT) has adapted the touch typing machines to the computer keyboards so what the students are learning is applicable right away.”

“The course in Arabic was introduced about a year ago for the first time, A few months ago, together with the Israeli Education Ministry, we introduced a pilot program in about 12 schools in the Arab, Druze and Bedouin sectors, and it’s been very successful,” Gross added. “The fact that the students can raise their heads, look to the left or right, and talk to people while they type accurately and quickly is remarkable to them.”

Josephine, an 18-year-old resident of Jaffa, learned the touch type on the TTT system when she was 16 and is now a vocal supporter of the method.

“It helped me a lot — I went from typing only about seven words a minute to over 30. I now use it in my work every day,” she told Israel21c.

Teaching TTT to Arabic speaking students in Israel is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Gross. Despite obstacles regarding Israeli companies doing business in the Arab world, Sight & Sound hopes to enter the wider Arabic-speaking market.

“We’re negotiating with a few big companies outside of Israel in an attempt to market the course in Arab-speaking countries. I’m confident it will happen in a few months,” said Gross.