clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Facebook's new multilingual composer lets you post in several languages at once

Babel on

You'll soon be able to post on Facebook in multiple languages using a new automatic translation feature, the company said today. The "multilingual composer," as the feature is called, allows you to write a post in one language and then choose additional languages in which you would like it to be published. If you write a post in English but publish it in Spanish, for example, any of your friends or followers who use Facebook in Spanish would see that Spanish translation of your post. The new composer, which will work for all permutations of the 45 languages Facebook currently translates, is beginning to roll out today. (Go to language preferences in your account settings and click "post in multiple languages.")

Facebook began testing the feature earlier this year with owners of business pages. About 5,000 pages have tried the composer, and their posts receive 70 million views daily. Of those, 25 million posts are viewed in a secondary language, Facebook says. But even more people see automatic translations of posts in their feed — 300 million people every day.

25 million posts a day are viewed in a secondary language

Data gathered from the multilingual composer will train Facebook's natural-language processing models, the company said. "This will not only help people communicate better across diverse groups that speak many languages, but will help train and improve our machine translation models as we gather new data in less common languages — moving us closer to the vision of removing language barriers across Facebook," the company said.

If you speak multiple languages, you'll have the ability to edit Facebook's translations before you publish a multilingual post. As for which version of a multilingual post Facebook shows you, the company says it considers your language preference, where you're posting from, and which language you usually post in.