Facebook Launches Bing-Powered Translation Service


Facebook users have a new option for reading foreign fan pages. Through Microsoft’s Bing Translator technology, Facebook users will be able to click a link to translate Facebook pages not written in their language without leaving Facebook.

Announced yesterday via the Facebook Pages wall, the move comes weeks after Microsoft’s announcement for the new Microsoft Translator API.

“Bing is excited that its friends at Facebook have now implemented the API to enhance their site with real-time, in-place translation,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Search Engine Watch. “Bing had nothing new to report about any integration partnerships with Facebook.”

This is, however, another win for Bing on multiple fronts. It is one more commitment from a social network into their service. It’s also another major player to use their translation API.

Many companies will be forced to decide what to do about translation, since Google decided to make their Translate API a paid service only, effectively shutting down the free translate API as of December 1, 2011.

The translation doesn’t happen automagically. Translation is provided via an app that users must install (give permission to) in order to translate Facebook pages into their own language.

When you click on a translate button, Bing Translator will provide the translation to your language in a popout window. In addition to the translation, users will also have the opportunity to correct the translation and submit it. In true social fashion, if a user-submitted translation receives enough support, it will replace the Bing translation automatically each time future users click the translate button for that individual post.

Facebook page admins can select to allow translations submitted by the community, only by Microsoft or their own supplied translations. There are also options to turn the translation ability off altogether.

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