Facebook's 'Multilingual Composer' allows you to post in different languages

You will now be able to write Facebook posts in multiple languages, here’s how

Facebook is rolling out a multilingual composer for millions of its users that will allow them to write posts in multiple languages automatically. In other words, very soon Facebook users will be able to connect with more people around the world by sharing their posts and comments in multiple languages.

Earlier this year, the social networking giant had debuted this tool for Pages, and now it’s testing it with average users across Facebook.

Facebook announced that its own developers have built a multilingual composer. You will be able to write a post in your preferred language and then select other languages from a drop-down menu, and Facebook will translate the original post into different languages. People can edit Facebook’s auto-composed translation or leave it as it is.

“People use Facebook to share information and ideas in many different languages,” the Facebook team wrote in a blog post. “In fact, 50 per cent of our community speaks a language other than English and most people don’t speak each other’s languages, so we’re always thinking about ways to remove language as a barrier to connecting on Facebook.”

For now, the software, called the “multilingual composer,” is being tested only among a small group of users. The company has already been testing it with Facebook Pages, which are specifically for businesses and brands, but it’s now opening testing to the broader social network. According to Facebook, while the site is just beginning to test the service with individual users, the feature is already being used by 5,000 Pages.

In addition, Facebook is also offering automatic translations to make things even easier, but points out that these can be twisted or ignored.

“To help authors create multilingual posts, we’re testing a pre-fill feature that takes the first message composed and uses machine translation to pre-fill the messages in the additional languages selected. Authors can use the translations as a starting point for their own translations in other languages, or use the provided version as is. These machine translations are generated by machine learning models trained on hundreds of thousands or millions of translations from one language to the other. This is the same system that generates translations in other places on Facebook, like when you click ‘See Translation’ for posts and comments.”

The new composer is beginning to roll out, which will work for all permutations of the 45 languages that Facebook currently translates.

As the social networking giant suggests, you will be able to edit the translated text just in case Facebook’s own automated translation feature didn’t quite get the meaning right. You can also opt to not auto-translate anything you’re posting if you want to just keep to one language for any reason.

Once you post your message, though, it’s fun to see how Facebook handles the translated text for your friends that speak one of the translated languages.

“We use several signals to determine the most relevant version of the post to show each viewer, including the language preferences and the locale that people selected for their accounts, as well as the language they most commonly post in (using a naive Bayes classifier to determine the probability distribution of the text across the languages our system can identify). If there’s no match between the languages the post was written in and the viewer’s preferred language, then we show the author’s first message as a default, and the viewer can use the existing ‘See Translation’ tool to see the post in their preferred language,” Facebook describes.

Fazil Ayan, who leads work on Facebook’s translation software said, “The multilingual-post option that rolled out today was inspired by the fact that many people already write posts in multiple languages. But they had to either write multiple versions of a message in one post or create separate posts-strategies that tend to reduce the chance anyone would respond.”

Here is a step-by-step guide to enable the multi-language settings in your Facebook account:

Step 1: Go to the Language section of your Account Settings.

Step 2: Click on the multilingual option

Step 3: Enable the option and then Edit the language to include readability option in many languages.

Now you can enjoy making posts on Facebook in the language of you choice.

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