Facebook Allows Users To Translate New Versions For Free

Monday, April 21 2008 @ 05:58 AM Central Daylight Time The three-year-old social networking phenomenon Facebook, worth more than $15 billion by many estimates, got a good deal on going global.

Its users around the world are translating Facebook’s visible framework into nearly two dozen languages — for free — aiding the company’s aggressive expansion to better serve the 60 percent of its 69 million users who live outside the United States.

The company says it’s using the wisdom of crowds to produce versions of site guidelines — especially terms specific to Facebook — that are in tune with local cultures.

“We thought it’d be cool,” said Javier Olivan, international manager at Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif. “Our goal would be to hopefully have one day everybody on the planet on Facebook.”

Coolness aside, and many users are embracing the idea, other social networks aren’t “crowdsourcing” translation. The move is generating mounting criticism online, where some users question whether amateurs can produce good translations. Critics complain of sloppiness and skimping, even as Facebook says it is improving service in an innovative way.

The concept of collaborative translation is familiar in open-source programming communities. But Facebook’s effort — as it builds sites in Japanese, Turkish, Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch to join versions in Spanish, French and German that launched this year — is among the highest-profile attempts to harness users’ energy to do work traditionally handled by professionals.

The Spanish-language version has taken a particular beating for grammatical, spelling and usage problems throughout.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor
http://wirefan.com

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: