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Twitter testing automatic translation in Brazil

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“To make it easier to understand the conversations you follow on Twitter, we’re experimenting with automatic translation for Tweets”

What you need to know

  • Twitter is testing a new automatic translation feature.
  • It will automatically translate tweets in other languages on your homepage.
  • The feature is being tested in Brazil on iOS and Android.

Twitter has begun testing a new feature that will automatically translate tweets on your homepage.

In a post, Monday, Twitter Brazil stated:

To make it easier to understand the conversations you follow on Twitter, we’re experimenting with automatic translation for Tweets in other languages ​​that appear on your homepage. We know that it can sometimes take a long time to translate Tweet by Tweet into different languages ​​and stay on top of what is relevant to you.

The feature is very straightforward. As of right now, if you see a tweet in a different language on Twitter, you click a link to translate the tweet. With the new feature, two different variations of automatic translation are being tested:

When accessing the home page, a group of people will start to see all Tweets written in different languages translated into Portuguese. One part of the group will see the translated text and can click to return it to the original language, while the other part will view the translation and the original text in the same Tweet in a standard way. If a Tweet is translated, it will have the warning “Translated from English by Google” or “Translated from English by Microsoft”.

Some tweets will be translated automatically, with an option to translate them back, whilst others will be translated and displayed alongside the original text. It is likely Twitter hasn’t settled on the best mode of translation and wants feedback from its users following real-world testing.

As noted, this is only available in Brazil, to a number of limited people on Twitter for iOS and Android. By default, the tweets will be translated into Portuguese, but users can change their language manually in preferences. Twitter says it will “expand the availability of the resource in Brazil and also to other countries” depending on performance.

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