Twitter announced today that users can once again translate tweets made in foreign languages using Microsoft’s Bing Translator technology. Now, when a tweet in a foreign language shows up in users’ timelines, they can have it translated to the reader’s native language using Microsoft’s solution.
When someone encounters a foreign language tweet in one of the 40 language pairs Bing supports, they can tap on on it to expand the tweet, and see a translation from Bing. Users of third-party clients still need their own translation, though: the feature will only work on Twitter’s website, TweetDeck, and the company’s apps for iOS and Android. Windows Phone users never lost the translation feature, even as Twitter removed it from its other platforms.
People who want to see tweets without translation can turn off the feature in their profile settings. That will probably be helpful to people who are multilingual, since Microsoft’s translations can range from somewhat flawed to utter gobbledegook.
Today’s news is a part of the continuing on-again, off-again saga of Twitter’s relationship with Bing Translator. The company quietly stopped using Microsoft’s translation service in August, after first announcing its use of Bing Translator in July 2013.
[This story has been updated to clarify translation features on Twitter for Windows Phone.]