Twitter Tests Automatic Translation for Tweets in a Different Language

twitterTwitter today announced it will begin testing a feature with a small group of users that automatically translates tweets that are in a language they may not be able to read.

Currently, users whose primary language is set to English in Twitter can tap or click a button to manually translate a tweet in their feed that's in another language.

Starting today, however, users in Brazil will see English-language tweets that have been automatically translated to Brazilian Portuguese, rather than having to manually opt to translate it themselves.

Twitter explained the pilot test in a blog post:

In order to make it easier to understand the conversations you follow on Twitter, we are experimenting automatic translations to Tweets in other languages that appear on your home page. We know that sometimes it can take a long time to translate Tweet by Tweet and stay on top of what is relevant to you.

Twitter says that one part of the testing group will see the translated text and can click to return it to the original language, while the other part will view the translation and the original text in the same tweet in a standard way. If a tweet is translated, it will be accompanied by the warning, "Translated from English by Google" or "Translated from English by Microsoft."

According to 9to5Mac, however, some Brazilian users have already voiced their frustration with the experimental feature because the automatic translations are enabled by default, and inevitably some machine translations aren't always accurate.

The test is only in Brazil and applies to a limited group of people on iOS and Android. It's unclear if or when it will expand to more countries – as with all experimental features, there's no guarantee that it will survive the testing phase.

Tag: Twitter

Top Rated Comments

jonnyb Avatar
23 weeks ago
People already understand Tweets in their own language so well. There are never any misunderstandings. This should go really well.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
23 weeks ago
Great Idea, tweets never use slang or idioms, what could possibly go wrong in a translation...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
[AUT] Thomas Avatar
23 weeks ago
To me it looks a lot like Twitter is really trying to ensure things escalate as quickly as possible...

IMHO: Twitter should be ignored by politicians and companies and not used by such (basically like TikTok that noone takes seriously). Twitter has only become an echo chamber for issues that fade away within hours (often includes the memory of the Twitter users apparently, long span of attention seems to be rare these days anyway). The plattform is technically incapable of providing a base for actual discussions as the amount of words is limited. So no argumentation is possible whatsoever. It's perfect though for posting stupid headlines without actually delivering on arguments, which is very welcome for the narrow minded (like the extreme left and extreme right) as well as complaining about something without giving the other side a real opportunity to actually argue their case. By now, I think Twitter is a burden to society more than it's helping.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
23 weeks ago

Thomas, post: 28764175, member: 1021539"]
To me it looks a lot like Twitter is really trying to ensure things escalate as quickly as possible...

IMHO: Twitter should be ignored by politicians and companies and not used by such (basically like TikTok that noone takes seriously). Twitter has only become an echo chamber for issues that fade away within hours (often includes the memory of the Twitter users apparently, long span of attention seems to be rare these days anyway). The plattform is technically incapable of providing a base for actual discussions as the amount of words is limited. So no argumentation is possible whatsoever. It's perfect though for posting stupid headlines without actually delivering on arguments, which is very welcome for the narrow minded (like the extreme left and extreme right) as well as complaining about something without giving the other side a real opportunity to actually argue their case. By now, I think Twitter is a burden to society more than it's helping.

While I fundamentally agree with your points, there are fundamental issues that must be overcome before such a thing could happen:

Politicians see Twitter as a way to reach their base directly and stir them up so they will vote for them. It is the modern version of the US' concept of the whistle stop, excpet the audience is much broader. It also lets them float an idea and see what the response is and adjuist or repeat the message as needed. In that case, short memories, and the ephemeral nature of Twitter, are to their advantage.

Companies are not interested in discussion. Twitter is just another way to get their brand name in front of people. They are not looking for long periodic engagements; they want a steady stream of hits even if they are only for a few seconds.

As long as these groups feel they get value from being on Twitter they will use it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
23 weeks ago


People already understand Tweets in their own language so well. There are never any misunderstandings. This should go really well.

”My hovercraft is full of eels!”
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
23 weeks ago


”My hovercraft is full of eels!”

"Can you direct me to the station?"

Twitter could create a whole new form of comedy online...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...