Twitter currently supports built-in translations, so users can click or tap any tweet written in a different language to translate it. The company announced today that it is expanding this feature by testing automatic translations for those tweets with a small group of users.
If your primary language is set to English on Twitter, all other tweets in different languages will feature a translation button. However, this has been a manual process until now, which means that the original tweet will be shown unless you choose the translated version.
With this recent change, Twitter will force all tweets to be displayed in the language set by the user. Here’s how the company describes the feature:
In order to make it easier to understand the conversations you follow on Twitter, we are experimenting automatic translations to Tweets in other languages that appear on your home page. We know that sometimes it can take a long time to translate Tweet by Tweet and stay on top of what is relevant to you.
Twitter said in a blog post that this new option is currently being tested only with users in Brazil, where all tweets written in other languages will be automatically translated to Brazilian Portuguese. However, some Brazilian users are complaining since Twitter enabled automatic translations by default.
Translators like Google Translate and even the recently announced Apple Translate sometimes fail to provide accurate translations, which can cause misinterpretation of the content. While this might be useful for someone who can’t understand other languages, enabling automatic translations by default is a quite aggressive strategy.
Looking for subtitles? We got it! Starting today, we are testing automatic translation for Tweets in other languages that appear on your home page. The test is only in Brazil and applies to a limited group of people on iOS and Android.
The company hasn’t provided details of when automatic translations will be available in more countries, but keep in mind that the feature might be dropped even before an international expansion.
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