Twitrans offers translation by native speakers

Using web translation services like Google Language Tools is often less than satisfying. Sure, the service can translate any phrase or website into a passable version in another language. But it’s far from perfect – tenses are often wrong, certain words don’t convert…it’s kind of a mess.

Sometimes you just need to leave it to the experts: the language’s native speakers. Thanks to the magic of Twitrans, you can now get your message personally translated into one of 14 languages, for free, by a native speaker. How does it work? Twitrans combines the magic of everyone’s favorite microblogging service, Twitter, with the translation experts at One Hour Translation. Twitter users send any message they want translated to @twitrans, along with the abbreviations for the starting and ending languages. For instance, an English to Chinese translation would read “@twitrans en2zh [YOUR PHRASE].” The completed translation appears back on your Twitter home page, no more than an hour later.

For something so simple, the functionality of Twitrans is remarkable. It’s fast, useful and more likely than web-based translation tools to catch the subtleties of language. Still, it’s not for everyone. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you’re out of luck, although non-Twitterers can browse on over to One Hour Translation’s page for a similar translation service that charges by the word. Even if you’ve never tried the service, Twitrans provides yet another of the growing reasons to check out Twitter.


You can find Gadling on Twitter, as well as the most of the Gadling Team: Mike Barish, Kraig Becker, Catherine Bodry, Alison Brick, Justin Glow, Aaron Hotfelder, Tom Johansmeyer, Jeremy Kressmann, Heather Poole, Jamie Rhein, Annie Scott, Karen Walrond, Kent Wien, and Brenda Yun.