Twitter taps users for UI translations

Twitter looks to expand beyond the seven languages it is available in now

To make its website available in more languages, Twitter has launched an online system that volunteers can use to translate the user interface of the microblogging service.

Twitter has previously leaned on its users to help it translate its interface, but on Monday it introduced what it calls its Translation Center, which the company says will improve and streamline the process.

In addition to English, Twitter.com is available in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish versions. Volunteer translators will find incremental work to do in those languages as the main interface is expanded and updated.

Twitter also needs people who know Indonesian, Russian and Turkish, the next three languages the site will be translated into. More languages will be added to the Translation Center this year, including Portuguese, the company said.

In addition to Twitter.com, translators will help localize Twitter's mobile site, its iPhone and iPad applications and its Android applications. At the Translation Center, volunteers will be able to create personal profiles, tag phrases and post comments.

Twitter is used primarily by individuals to post personal updates and by marketers to promote their products and brands. However, like other social media services, it is also employed as a communications tool by political activists and opposition groups, most recently -- and prominently -- in Egypt.

As such, the availability of its interface in multiple foreign languages is bound to increase its popularity and effectiveness not only for online marketing but also for social and political activism.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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