I am in love with Twitter. I am so in love with Twitter that I actually feel let down to know there are so many tweets I won’t be able to read thanks to language barriers. While it would be great to be capable of learning every language in the world at the drop of a hat to remedy this situation, I am forced to b e more realistic.
There are tools out there that allow you to translate anything on Twitter. Which will give you access to those posts that were once closed to you, and allow for even greater communication with users all over the world. It is a very helpful tool if you are like me, and prefer to follow current events over international waters, as told from the people themselves. Since Twitter is so often a tool used by the masses to give a bird’s eye view of any conflict, change or event, there is no better way to see what is happening for yourself.
Over the years, a lot of tools have come and gone for this purpose. Between 2008 and 2010, there was a flood of tools for translation. But they have since gone the way of the dinosaurs, and finding reliable tools can be a little harder these days. Probably because so many people are using a basic translator like the one offered by Google in Chrome.
I still prefer more specific tools that are built around Twitter. These are four that are still up and running for you to use.
This is probably the most popular and long lasting tool for translation on Twitter. It works by allowing you to sign into Twitter and translate any tweet. It has a language detection feature if you aren’t sure of the language used. You can also translate from an app, by sending a tweet to their profile along with the language you want it translated into. It is easy to use, very handy and free to use. I have seen a lot of people using it to maintain regular conversations with users from other countries, overcoming the language barrier with the click of a button.
An auto-updating system, you translate your tweets and it does the rest by posting them on your page for you. Just sign in through the site, choose the output language, then update as usual. It is a very simple single-page format, with no frills or any complicated steps. The translation itself is pretty accurate, though I have been told by native speakers that occasionally it gets small details wrong. In any case, they are always understandable in context, so better than some translation services out there.
I am surprised this has not gotten more attention, though it is a little old and hasn’t been updated in years. It is a basic script that allows you to translate tweets automatically, from within Twitter. It is easy to use, you just have to download it from the main page. There is a remotely hosted version, as well. It is supported by Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, which should give you an idea of how old it is. Be sure to hit ‘Install’, not the ‘Download’ button.
This is a fun opensource project that was created back in 2009 and still works today. It is a simple tweet interface that allows you to translate your Twitter feed from within the site itself. It is very basic and works well, even if it isn’t as pretty as some of the sign-in programs you get nowadays. I would say it is still worth a try, and some of you out there will definitely enjoy it more than other apps on the web for this purpose.
Of course, none of these tools will offer you professional translation services. Do you know of any good websites or apps out there that allow you to translate tweets from or to different languages? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to provide a link!