Translation Industry News | 11.11.2009

Twitter spreads its wings

Tweeting has never been so popular and this month, Twitter – the ‘microblogging’ site which took the world by storm – unveiled its Spanish-language version. Back in October, Twitter invited Spanish speakers to translate their website and thanks to the flurry of eager translators (working hard over a period of just one month) the site is now available in Spanish, making it the third language along with English and Japanese. German, Italian and French will follow shortly.

The maximum length of a post on Twitter is 140 characters long, but this limit on message space has done nothing to stem its popularity and its launch in Spanish shows how the company’s strategy aims to reach a far wider audience in even more non-English speaking countries. By offering the site in Spanish, the potential audience has grown by a possible 300 million users (the amount of Spanish speakers across the globe), if everybody had access to the internet that is. However, this is not the case and the number of internet users per 100 of a population differs from country to country. According to Evan Williams, Twitter CEO, the site ‘can make people more informed and more connected and help them make better choices.’ In the future it may well be that Twitter finds itself to have made a contribution to closing the digital divide through social inclusion and also to have assisted with one of the United Nations Development Goals – Target 5 under Global Partnership: ‘In cooperation with the private sector, (to) make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.’ With Twitter’s real-time information, the potential this generates, coupled with rising internet use – this is certainly a possibility.

In October 2009, Twitter announced that its site would soon be available in French, Italian and German. ‘No matter how sophisticated technology gets, we’re reminded daily that it’s about people and that’s something we’ve taken to heart regarding translating Twitter’ stated the company’s blog. This is a philosophy which The Translation People share and is why we don’t use any automatic translation tools. Our extensive team of qualified translators are experts in their field and produce translations of the highest quality. Just as Twitter is reaching new heights, the Translation People are pleased to announce that their website will soon be available in Spanish and Italian

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