Urdu, Arabic, whatever: It's all the same to Infinity Ward in Modern Warfare 2

You would have been foolish to assume that Modern Warfare 2 would treat foreign cultures with any sort of reverence. First there was the rubbish accents in the Rio de Janeiro level(s). Then there was “No Russian,” which, well you know what happened there. Now there’s this: there’s Arabic all over the Karachi multi-player level. Why is this an issue? Oh, only that Arabic isn’t spoken in Pakistan (Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city).

No, Arabic is not a main language of Pakistan. Realistically, there’s no reason why the Modern Warfare 2 representation of the game should be littered with Arabic language signs. And yet it is so!

The country has two official languages in Urdu and English. Urdu, like many other languages, in written using the Arabic alphabet. You know, just like how English and Italian and Spanish and German and French are all written with the same alphabet (the Latin alphabet) but are completely different languages. Same thing with Urdu and Arabic: just because they both use the same script doesn’t mean they’re the same language.

Not if you’re Infinity Ward, I guess.

Now, is this is big deal? To most people no, it patently isn’t, but you’d think big budget games like Modern Warfare 2 would try to be as authentic as possible.

How dumb would it look to be playing a game set in Paris with all the street signs in Dutchor Swedish? I mean really.

More importantly, what would we do without Wikipedia?