Facebook has already successfully crowdsourced the translation of its site to dozens of languages, connecting millions of people to each other around the world in new and unexpected ways. The social networking site has now started rolling out a translation feature to let users translate comments from other languages to help bridge the communication gap between users.
According to reports, users are now seeing on Facebook Pages, comments in languages other than their current one now include a new “Translate” button next to the “Like” button. If you click on the button, the comment is automatically translated to your account language. The Translate button is then replaced by “Original,” which if clicked will untranslate the comment.
The “Translate” button apparently does a good job of translating not only standard words but also slang phrases. The pickture below shows an example translation of the phrase, “Totally cool” from Hebrew to English. After the post has been translated, the button changes to “Original” so users can see the exact text that was originally entered.
The translation functionality could be especially useful for multinational organizations that receive comments that are in different languages. More pessimistically, users might use this feature to better understand each others’ flames, particular on Pages for controversial topics.
For now, it only seems to be available in a few languages, including Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese.