This article was published on April 2, 2011

How to translate your tweets into other languages using hashtags

How to translate your tweets into other languages using hashtags

While you probably wouldn’t want to do it too often, there are might be times tweeting the same message in multiple languages might be useful. A new app has been designed to let you easily do just that.

Developer Chi Poon says he created the app as a reaction to Japan’s recent troubles.

“Being in Japan, I kept up to date on the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation situation by following my Japanese friends’ Twitter feeds,” he explains. “Unfortunately my Japanese is not the best and I couldn’t understand what they tweeted, so I relied heavily on regular English news which was delayed. Some of my friends even manually posted once in Japanese and once in English.”

To solve this problem, Chi built an automatic translator tool based on the Google Translate API. Once signed up, all his friends had to do was add the hashtag #en to their Japanese tweets to automatically generate an English version.

Once you’ve linked your Twitter account to the app, you just need to add the relevant hashtag for the language you want to translate into at the end of your tweet. 58 languages are supported and you can even add multiple hashtags to produce tweets in a number of languages at once.

The only bug I’ve found while trying it out is that replies have the “@” separated from the username, meaning that all your followers will see foreign language replies show up in their feeds. Poon says that this is down to Google Translate and he will be working to fix it

Using this tool constantly would probably annoy your users, but for those times when you need to spread a message quickly in a number of languages, it’s a useful tool to try.