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As Events Unfold In Iran, Facebook And Google Translate Quickly Add Persian Versions

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In response to the events surrounding the Iranian election last week, Google and Facebook have both added the Persian language Farsi to their capabilities. The Persian version of Facebook will be available starting tonight. The Facebook blog post announcing the new version is here.

Facebook says the Persian version was already being developed but it decided to unveil it because of the sudden increase in activity with the Iranian elections and protests. Facebook adds the disclaimer that the translation is still in rough form.

If your browser is set to Farsi, you should automatically see the Persian version of Facebook. Facebook says that more than 400 Persian speakers submitted thousands of individual translations of the site.

Google has also added Persian (Farsi) to Google Translate, making it easy to translate any text from Farsi into English and from English into Farsi. Google, like Facebook, says that the launch of the Persian translation was primarily due to the events taking place in Iran. And like Facebook, Google warns that the translation isn’t perfect. Google also invites people to click on the “contribute a better translation” link if they find a poor translation.

It’s unclear what will happen with Facebook in Iran, under the current situation. FriendFeed was blocked and Twitter seems to be one of the main forms of social communication online in Iran.

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