First There Was Pirate, Now Facebook Comes In Latin

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For Your Eyes Only

Okay, now Facebook is just showing off. Having translated Facebook into more than 70 languages, including “Pirate,” it’s run out of living languages and the site is now available in Latin. What’s next, Klingon?

Actually, what’s next is whatever Facebook’s users want it to be because they are the ones doing the translating. Facebook crowdsources the translation of its site. During the protests in Iran this summer, Facebook was quickly translated into Farsi. This approach has been so successful that Facebook is now making its translation tools available to any other site or app which uses Facebook Connect.

And that’s sort of the point. There should be no language barriers on the Web. Any page should be available in any language. That’s an ideal, of course, but Facebook’s ability to tap into native speakers and amateur translators around the world makes that goal slightly less daunting. Even Google Translate doesn’t offer Latin.

(Photo credit: Flickr/Rachel Scott Halls)

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