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Twitter is launching a project that is inviting a small group of volunteers to translate tweets.  An article on Mashable didn’t quite say how many translators will be involved or what languages will be available.  They did point to taking baby steps, as Twitter doesn’t seem to be jumping into a massive undertaking like Facebook, who is translated in about 70 different languages.

What will this project do?  Expect growth for Twitter in more ways than one.  First off, it will attract more users in a variety of locations.  Most likely they are going to focus on more of the widespread languages, but language barriers will be coming down.

People will be more united.  You will be able to make connections around the globe and be able to communicate.  To answer the question that awaits you in an empty text box on twitter’s Website will take your voice and inspiration to meet new relationships.

Certainly, Twitter will be selecting qualified individuals, but you’ve definitely got to keep the “lost in translation” factor in your mind.  Twitter only allows you to speak in 140 characters.  That includes spaces.  Your thoughts are consolidated to concise quips and sometimes the best way to beat home a point is through slang.  Slang doesn’t translate very well, and sometimes neither do well thought out ideas (literally anyway).

For example, “churro de hombre” in Spanish means good-looking man.  In English it literally means man of doughnuts.  Coming from Spanish to English, this is likely to be smoothed out, but what about the other way?  An English speaking person may attempt humor and exclaim, “I am a man of doughnuts!”  Translated back into Spanish, “Soy un churro de hombre,” is I am a good-looking man.  Humor lost, intentions not carried through.  This is somewhat of a facetious example, but the point is there.


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