Facebook Opens Crowdsourced Translations Engine

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Facebook opened its crowdsourcing translation tool via the Facebook Connect service, so that users can easily translate other sites and apps across the Web.

As Facebook expanded across the world, the social network called users to chime in and translate the site into 65 languages, instead of paying professionals for the lengthy job. Users submitted possible translations and the most accurate ones were chosen for the final version.

Now, in a bid to expand the use of its Facebook Connect service, the social network introduced on Tuesday Translations for Facebook Connect, a service that gives site owners the option to allow users to translate the content in the same way Facebook did with its own site.

Translations for Facebook Connect will be free for developers and few extra lines of code will enable the service on sites already using the Connect service. Volunteer translators across the globe will be able to translate participant sites into more than 65 languages, including Pirate speak (full list here).

Facebook Connect Service staffer Cat Lee explains that "with Translations for Facebook Connect, country tourist boards or travel sites that want to attract foreign visitors on holiday can use this framework to translate their sites and automatically present the content to users in their native language after they log in with Facebook Connect."

More than 15,000 sites and applications already use the Facebook Connect service, which allows users to log in with their Facebook credentials and post comments, share posts on the social network and now translations. The main competitor of Facebook Connect is Google's Friend Connect service, which offers similar functionality.

Google also uses a totally different approach to translations. Google Translate uses its own technology that automatically translates Web sites and text, lacking the human touch Facebook is offering through Translations for Connect.

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