Twitter Pulls Another Facebook And Crowdsources Translations

Filed as News on October 12, 2009 1:35 pm

twitter-logo.jpgAmidst rumours that the microblogging service could venture in to adding video upload for its users and immediate denial, the announcement that Twitter will finally expand and offer translations almost got lost. Similarily to Facebook the Californian startup will crowdsource the translations to its user base. Users interested to help Twitter with the most needed feature right now to continue its world wide growth will have to volunteer. It isn’t clear how volunteers will be selected or where to volunteer.

We are inviting a small group of people to become volunteer translators at first. As more folks volunteer, the translation suggestions should accumulate faster and we’ll have enough material to respond by making Twitter available not only in English and Japanese but also French, Italian, German, and Spanish. We will distribute the translations to Twitter platform developers making it easier for them to offer multiple language support as well.

There is no ETA for the project nor is it clear if there are plans to translate in Mandarin or Portuguese. Twitter should have made this move a long time ago already, let’s just hooe we won’t have to cope with Pirate English.

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  1. By Michael Leung posted on October 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm
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    I don’t trust crowdsourced anything, really. Especially trusting strangers on the Internet to translate stuff on Twitter, that’s crazy. Maybe it’s the whole 4chan thing speaking to me, but you shouldn’t really task people to do such important things like this and an early stage.

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  2. By Chris Gnut posted on October 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm
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    Great to see Twitter is becoming more aggressive in expanding globally. Should be clarified that this feature will help twitter specifically localize their UI (eg.-menu items, field names, site copy). The real benefit in going global occurs when all of your content (eg. – user generated data, articles, etc) can be translated automatically to attract global visitors.

    I decided to do this automatically with my website fairly recently. I was able to not only translate my domestic content automatically for visitors, but my content was automatically indexed and page ranked in search engines greatly boosting my original global traffic (e.g.- page views) by several times.

    There are different tools that accomplish this, some better than others (I have personally found success with http://www.nativetung.com). Nonetheless, nice to see more attention being placed on this important topic.

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