PALO ALTO, Calif. — March 3, 2008 — Facebook today announced another step towards internationalizing the site with translation into German. Current users who want to view Facebook in German can change their language preference from their account settings, and beginning today, any person who goes to www.facebook.com from a German-speaking country will see the site in German.
More than 2000 German-speaking users on Facebook chose to be part of the effort and translated the site from English to German in less than two weeks.
“We’re really excited to bring German-speaking users the ability to access Facebook in their native language,” said Matt Cohler, Vice President of Product Management. “We currently have over a million active users in German-speaking countries, and we look forward to making it even easier for them to connect and share information with family and friends.”
As the company releases new features, Facebook will continue to empower its users to make these features available in their local language. In addition, the translation application will soon be available to Facebook Platform developers who want to have their applications translated by Facebook users.
Users who added the Facebook translation application were allowed to submit translations inline while browsing the site. Facebook users then approved all translations through a voting system. For example, users agreed on “anklopfen” to describe the Facebook-coined term “poke.”
Many translators are motivated by the impact of their contribution to making the site available to millions who speak their language. The leading German translator was responsible for more than 1000 of the winning sentences, and over 40 contributors translated 100 sentences or more.
Facebook users can now also access the mobile site in their supported language through any mobile device with Web capabilities. To sign up for Facebook, users can go to www.facebook.com or visit m.facebook.com from any mobile device with Internet access.