A new free service called Twitrans launched today that allows Twitter users to quickly translate any short message to a variety of languages. The translation is farmed out to humans using the OneHourTranslation platform and results are promised in a few minutes.
Here’s how it works. You send a Twitter message to @twitrans followed by the translation requested (English to Chinese would be en2zh). A test message I sent: “@twitrans en2zh Testing out twitrans, a new Twitter translation service.”
The service uses humans, so it’ll presumably yield better results than Google Translate or similar automated translation services.
While I waited for a response the service sent me a message saying “Human translation started. You’ll receive the translation here in a few minutes. Thank you! “ (they sent that to the wrong Twitter account, but I’m guessing they’ll fix that).
Ten minutes later they sent this message back to me: “尝试一下twitrans吧，一种新的翻译服务” I have no idea what that means, but I’m hoping it’s a decent translation. Just to be sure I sent it back to them in Chinese and asked them to translate it to English. If I translate this message back and forth enough times with the service, I’m betting I’ll get some crazy results.
Messages can be translated to/from Arabic-ar, Chinese-zh, Dutch-nl, English-en, French-fr, German-de, Greek-el, Hebrew-he, Hindi-hi, Italian-it, Japanese-jp, Portuguese-pt, Russian-ru, Spanish-es.