Brazilian Twitter Users Test Automatic Machine Translation for Tweets

At present, Twitter offers an automatic machine translation for Tweets, known as Tweet Translation. This gives users the option to automatically translate a Tweet that is on their feed by clicking on the Translate Tweet prompt, but this is only possible when a translation is available.

However, Twitter are currently testing an automatic translation of Tweets for users in Brazil which will give an automatic translation for Tweets in other languages that appear on a user’s homepage.

The automatic translation feature will save users having to click on individual Tweets to translate them one at a time, and aims to keep users informed of relevant news and Tweets from around the world.

In a recent blog post, Twitter state the automatic translation feature is in an experimental stage which will be available “to a limited group of people on Twitter on IOS and Android operating systems in Brazil”.

“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”.”

By default, users will find Tweets are automatically translated into Portuguese on their homepage but language preferences can also be manually set in the settings.

Depending upon the response and performance of the machine translation test, Twitter plan to expand the availability of the automatic translation to the rest of Brazil and other countries.

Automatic translations can be inaccurate or inappropriate at times, hence the warnings “Translated from English by Google” or “Translated from English by Microsoft” that Twitter will show alongside each translation.

Misinterpretation, lack of contextual awareness and lexical variances can cause automatic machine translations to offer incorrect translations that have often caused offence to users.

To be sure that a translation is accurate it is necessary to enlist the help of native-speaking, human translators who use specialist translation software to speed up the process and ensure consistency.

If you would like to discuss your translation project with an expert translation team who not only understand the cultural significance of language, but offer accurate, sector-specific, timely translations and localizations for your company, please contact us here.

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