In what has been a long-overdue move, Facebook has finally announced that it will make its services available to non-English speaking users. In true social style, though, the translation will be done by users of the popular social network.
In order to achieve this goal, Facebook has started a new application called ‘translator’ and they have asked users in local networks to volunteer some of their time to help this endavour. At present French, Spanish and German language versions are underway. Venturebeat reports that thousands of users have already started work on this project. Facebook seems to be saving a lot of revenue by asking its users to volunteer for this work.
Facebook Translations Application
To achieve the best possible results, Facebook has also installed a voting system, whereby other users can give their opinion on the quality of translation used and can immediately point out grammatical errors. These translations will be available only for Facebook-generated text and not for personal entries made by users.
The French German and Spanish versions are expected to be ready by the end of March 2008. Facebook will then decide whether to use this method going forward, and if so, which other languages are to be included. The decision to go international seems to be a recent one as they had no particular plans of doing so in August 2007.