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Automatically Translate Tweets

I recently came across a wonderful new translation tool for Twitter!  The tool is simple, easy to use, and automatic.

the tool uses the Google Translate API, so it is far from perfect in its translations.  However, for many tweets, it is simply good enough.  What it does is enable someone to provide a translated version of tweets in at least 58 languages.  The app was developed by Developer Chi Poon, who resides in Japan and developed the app as a way of providing support during the recent troubles stemming from the March 11 quake, tsunami, and ongoing nuclear crisis.

“Being in Japan, I kept up to date on the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation situation by following my Japanese friends’ Twitter feeds,” he explains. “Unfortunately my Japanese is not the best and I couldn’t understand what they tweeted, so I relied heavily on regular English news which was delayed. Some of my friends even manually posted once in Japanese and once in English.”

The app allows the user to add translated versions of tweets by including hashtags for the languages being supported.  For example, to add Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of a tweet, I would add the following tags to my English language tweet: #ja #ko #es #pt

I used to be one of the users Poon refers to that posted the same message manually in Japanese and English, not only on Twitter but also in Facebook, until I decided that this was unnecessary and nonsensical.  Since most of my posts contain links, usually in only one of the two languages, I decided to post almost exclusively in English – my native language.  Occasionally, I will post in Japanese for my Japanese friends, particularly when the link I am posting is in Japanese.

Now, since I have signed up and linked the app to my Twitter account, I think that I will try to add the translation hashtags.  Thank you Chi Poon!


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