Twitter is currently available only in English and Japanese. With some help, we will soon be rolling out support for French, Italian, German, and Spanish. These languages are commonly referred to using the acronym FIGS and are often the starting point for services like Twitter when its time for more language support. Later, we hope to offer Twitter in several other languages. No matter how sophisticated technology gets, we’re reminded daily that it’s about people and that’s something we’ve taken to heart regarding translating Twitter.
This is cool in theory and how it is being done is as unique as Twitter is
Starting today, we are offering a simple tool for people with experience in other languages to suggest translations for the Twitter web site. Then, we’ll follow up technically.
Biz then puts out a request for volunteers to help Twitter make this translation thing a reality. He talks about his small team of 5 people working feverishly to make Twitter accessible to the rest of the civilized world. What is Twitter anyway, some kind of charity cause?
I can see this type of request if this was a shoestring operation that was working on cash flow to make this kind of service a reality but Twitter is neither anymore. It’s hard to feel sorry for the poor Twitter employees who are painted as understaffed but dedicated to making the world a better place through translating Twitter “as soon as we can”. Honestly, the rest of the world is running low on ‘twatience’ with the ‘little company that could 140 characters at a time” shtick.
Biz, with a billion dollar valuation and a bank account that is somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million richer, the rest of the world is not going to buy the poor little Twitter story any more. If this is really going to happen you need to hire the team to get it done and then roll it out to the waiting world. Part of the price of becoming as big and well funded as Twitter is that the slack offered is considerably less. In fact, it has likely moved from being a very generous amount to now being just enough rope to hang yourself.
Sounds harsh I know but life can be that way. Adios!