Facebook: From 1 to 100 languages in two years

It was just over a year ago that Facebook started localizing itself for the world.

As I noted then, the company utilized crowdsourcing to spur its translation efforts. And though volunteers aren’t the only people translating content, a year later, Facebook has done an impressive job of going global.

Om Malik recently reported some key stats from Facebook’s global expansion efforts. Among them:

  • Facebook is available in 43 languages and is in the process of being translated into another 60 languages.
  • 40 percent of Facebook users are not using English.
  • 25,000 volunteers helped translate Facebook into Turkish last year, and there are now 9 million Turkish-language users signed up for Facebook.

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Even though only 43 languages are available now, if you add the Facebook Translations application (which i really recommend doing if you’re into this sort of thing), you’ll see the other 60 languages in the pipeline — many of which look pretty much good to go.

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Here’s what the Translations pull-down menu looks like:

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So many languages my computer is lacking for fonts.

It’s a very safe bet to say that Facebook will support more than 100 languages a year from now.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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