Facebook users have been working hard to translate the site into a number of new languages. In addition to adding localized versions of languages including Spanish, Facebook has completed translation of Norwegian, Japanese and Polish. I can foresee Japanese being one of the most popular languages on the site. Facebook is also working to finish up Chinese as their copycat in China, Xiaonei, recently raised $430 million.
While Facebook doesn’t have the most translations of any social networking site/platform currently, they have been the quickest at getting out new languages thanks to their translations application. The translations application crowd sources the translation process to Facebook users, enabling them to create a dictionary of different word translations and vote on which words are accurately translated.
Facebook has close to 20 languages that they are actively working to translate into but they have suggested that they will be adding more in the near future. The site is now accessible in 8 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Norwegian. New languages will be added in the coming weeks. Crowd sourcing has proven to be an effective model for Facebook.
The true test will be if Facebook becomes as dominant internationally as they’ve become domestically.