By Doaa Farid
Twitter has announced a new service to provide English translations of Arabic tweets to help non-speakers follow political changes in the North African country.
The translation, done by Bing, the online automatic service provider, is attached to verified twitter accounts, and allowed a wider audience to read tweets in Arabic during the protests that started 30 June. Some of these verified accounts include former president Mohamed Morsi, vice-president of foreign affairs Mohamed ElBaradei, and political activist Wael Ghonim.
In a bid to broaden its global user base, Twitter adopted this auto-translation service which is still in an experimental phase. Users can access the translation by clicking on the “view translation” hypertext, found on the top right corner of the tweet box. The experimental feature began this month.
In a statement, twitter said: “as part of our experiment with tweet text translation, we’ve enabled translation for some of the most-followed accounts in Egypt, so people around the world can better understand and keep up with what’s happening there.”
Twitter’s translation feature is similar to services offered on Facebook, and search engine Google.