Twitter tests translation service to help users follow the news in Egypt

4 Jul 2013

While the world is following the political unrest in Egypt, English-speaking Twitters users can follow what’s being said by high-profile Egyptian accounts thanks to a new translation feature.

A ‘View translation’ link has been added to certain users’ tweets to help those not familiar with Arabic to read what the wider world is saying. Translation is powered by Microsoft’s Bing, the same service that powers translation on Facebook.

Twitter has enabled this feature on certain accounts tweeting from Egypt to help its users keep track of events unfolding there as the country’s first democratically elected leader Mohammed Morsi has been put under house arrest following a military coup.

A list entitled ‘egypt2013’ created by Twitter For News helps to identify the accounts for which translation has been enabled.

Twitter translation

In a statement, Twitter explained that this translation feature is still in an experimental phase.

The translate link only appears for Twitter users who are signed into the network.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.