No English? No problem: Facebook can translate posts into different languages

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It might soon be a lot easier to interact with your non-English-speaking friends on Facebook The social media giant is experimenting with a feature that allows users to translate posts automatically into one or two languages, and then edit the translations as they see fit.

The feature actually started rolling out to Pages earlier this year, allowing companies and businesses to interact with their customers in multiple languages. Now, however, you’ll be able to use the new feature, too.

When you use the feature, you’ll be able to choose which languages the post shows up in. For example, you can write the post in English, then set it to translate into Spanish, too. English speakers will only see the post in English, and Spanish speakers will see it in Spanish.

About 5,000 Pages have started making use of the new tool, and it’s apparently being used as many as 10,000 times per day. Those posts combined get around 70 million views, with 25 million of them being in an additional language. In other words, the feature has been pretty useful.

In the past, Facebook’s translations have relied on Microsoft’s Bing, but now all translations are done in-house by Facebook’s self-built artificial intelligence.

“These machine translations are generated by machine-learning models trained on hundreds of thousands or millions of translations from one language to the other,” wrote Facebook’s Necip Fazil Ayan, Don Husa, and Shawn Mei in a blog post. This is the same system that generates translations in other places on Facebook, like when you click ‘See Translation’ for posts and comments.”

Of course, not everyone can access the feature just yet — Facebook is still testing it. If, however, you’ve been chosen to be a part of the test, you can turn the feature on by going to the Language section of Settings.


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