Multilingual Interactions through Machine Translation—Numbers from Socl

By andresmh11 months ago - permalink

Tags: socl translation multilanguage

For the past two years, social media platforms have been rolling out machine translation, enabling multilingual interactions. However, the people interacting in these platforms often know each other already, and have a language in common (i.e., friends). But what happens when machine translation is used to facilitate interactions among strangers, who perhaps have common interests but not a common language?

The earliest social media platform to enable machine translation was probably Facebook, which began autotranslating conversations in Facebook pages (a good place to start given that Pages are more likely to bring people who speak different languages together). Likewise, Google+ and Twitter later released similar features, enabling, for example, Spanish-speaking Twitter users to read the tweets from the now toppled Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, translated from Arabic to Spanish:


How often do these types of multilingual interactions occur? Ethan Zuckerman posed a similar question when wondering what the numbers were for machine translations, in the context of a discussion about the challenges of having people pay attention to content outside their immediate reach.

With that in mind, we decided to look into some numbers using data from our own social media platform: Soclwhich started offering machine translation since last year. Socl, like Twitter, often brings strangers together who might not speak the same language, example:


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Introducing the new Translator

By richzar2 years ago - permalink

Tags: Social media fuselabs richard zaragoza help socl translation rich posts

After launching we were pleasantly surprised to see how well it resonated with non-English native speakers. In the short time since, the site has received attention from users all over the world, adding to the richness and diversity of the content stream.

To support our growing community we took advantage of a great asset with the Bing Translator API, and we are happy to announce that now has built in translation. With this update you can connect with people from across the globe in 37 different languages, making collaboration easier than ever.

To apply this feature to a post, click on the menu arrow in the upper right corner and select “Translate.”

A box will appear where you can select your language, see image below.  Click the orange “Translate” button, and the post will automatically translate into your chosen language!

You can also set your default translation language on the language tab in your setting panel. To get to the settings panel, click on your profile image in the top right corner of the page and click “settings”.

We hope the new translation feature will add to your experience and ability to collaborate and share information.

We are continuing to work on lots of great new ideas here at FUSE Labs, so keep an eye out for future announcements here and on Twitter @fuselabs.