One Twitter out of two is written in a language other than English. In the digitally globalized third millennium, whatever your content is, tweeting it in just one language is not enough any more.
This is especially true if you are a brand. As a matter of fact, international branding finds in Twitter a key tool, now more than ever, since Twitter has launched brand pages for business users. Thanks to the new, larger images available, the brands can now better display their logos and taglines and with the featured tweets function they are also able to keep their content visible for a longer period of time.
TWITTER GOES MULTI-LANGUAGE
Twitter itself has realized the importance of the multi-language policy, so in the last October the company announced the decision to guarantee its technical support to the “FIGS” languages, that is: French; Italian; German and Spanish. As yet two of them, Spanish and French are already available and, added to the already provided English and Spanish, bring the number of languages to four.
So, if Twitter itself is going down this road, you should probably think about doing the same (or change to probably be thinking about). It’s time to start tweeting in multiple languages. But how?
TWEET IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES: A COMMON MISTAKE TO AVOID
There are plenty of ways to do it, but what’s even more important is that there’s one way you should definitely not do it: tweeting in different languages using the same account. It just cannot work because your followers who are native of one language are more than likely not to speak the other language/s. The only result you will get is to put off at the same time all your languages’ audience. Ruled out the option of the mono account, it is evident that you have to open and run one account for each language you want to tweet in. But how to deal with daily tweets in different languages?
HOW TO TRANSLATE YOUR TWEETS: ELECTRONIC OR HUMAN
After having decided which language/s to go for depending on your content and target, the next step is choosing either a human translator or an electronic one. If you have a budget, a human translator is, obviously the best solution. You might reduce this cost, or even cut it completely, by doing a language swap with another tweeter. That is, I translate your tweet in my native language and you do the same with mine.
If you don’t have the language skills to make a swap deal, you could just ask your followers to help you with the translation by posting your tweet and then waiting for their translations. On the other hand, if you opt for the electronic solution, there are currently on the market a number of different tools to help you get “international” very quickly. Starting with one of the most basic ones, let’s talk about TwitLan, an app which allows you to tweet in 81 different languages by providing virtual keyboards for each language you decide to use. Another very easy (and cost free) option is to copy and paste your tweet into Google Translate. Of course, the more wittines and subleties your tweet is filled with, the more risks you take.
Then we move to the big world of tweet translators which can help you shoot your words to thousands of accounts in their native languages. One of the most popular is the very straightforwardly named Twitter Translate . It is a Greasemonkey script that automatically translates tweets into any other language. By default, it is set to “en” for English, but you can change settings to any code, i.e. language available.
Another option is Twitlator, which is another Greasemonkey script that provides an automatic translation of your tweets. It is a very easy-to-use tool: just write your tweet and click the “translate” link. A very effective service is the web based Automatically Translate Twitter Tweets. You just need to log in with your twitter account via the website and choose among the various language tags available depending on which language you want to translate your tweet in. If you want to combine the rapidity of automatic translators with the accuracy of a human translation, you should try Twitrans.
It works as follows: you send a Twitter message to @twitrans followed by the code for the language requested and the text of your tweet. The service then forwards your message to their “One Hour Translation Service” where a translator will take care of your tweet and you will have it back in the desired language within one hour.
HOW TO MANAGE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS
But, as we said, to manage multiple languages accounts, you also need to manage multiple Twitter accounts. There are some handy services you could use.
- Seemsic Desktop, for example, allows you to manage an unlimited number of accounts and it is also fully integrated with Facebook.
- Twitter (the official Twitter client for Mac, was Tweetie)does an excellent job in managing multiple accounts for Mac users.
MANY LANGUAGES, MANY CULTURES
As a last tip, I would add that, whatever translating tool you’ll decide to use, don not take for granted that what works in your country will work just as well in another. Before shooting out multi-language clone tweets, do a little research in order to find out whether you have to change something to adapt it to a different country, i.e. culture, or not.
OK, now you’re ready: spread your world in the Tweetsphere!