Facebook Making It a Smaller World With New Translate Function

By Oliver VanDervoort September 06, 2011

One of the truly great things about the Internet is that it can help bring people together. When your best friend moves 1,000 miles away from you, you no longer have to spend $500 a month on long distance or 500 minutes on your cell phone talking to him. Fully half of all American adults use social networking sites and most of those people are keeping in touch with those who live far away.

Now it appears that Facebook is working to make sure that even people who speak entirely different languages will be able to interact with one another. While there are Facebook pages from all over the world, they generally don’t bleed into one another because people simply don’t all speak the same language. Facebook is takingsteps to bring the world community closer with a one touch button that would immediately translate a web page into whatever language the user would prefer. 

While Facebook seems to be trying to roll this out as quickly as possible, there have been very few details about just how it would work.   Some reports have the translate button appearing on comments next to the number of “likes,” though that doesn’t appear to be a uniform deployment right now. At the moment, the Facebook translate feature is only available for a few languages - Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese - but it’s a shoo-in that other languages are coming down the pike. The actual translating feature appears to be as easy as pressing the translate link and when you want to go back to the original text all you have to do is click the “original” link that appears after you translate.

Facebook allows many different languages to be used and because there have been few details for the languages they do offer now, there is no timetable for when some of the more obscure languages will be translated. These kinds of measures are a smaller move towards Facebook being used by more people for more uses. These new features are putting the social media giant even further ahead of any sort of competition.

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Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Writer

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