Facebook Rolling Out Language-Specific Names

By David Cohen 

LanguageSpecificName650Facebook is beginning to roll out language-specific names for users, allowing their names to be displayed in the native languages of a select few countries.

The social network said users’ friends will see their names “in the way that’s most natural for them,” and it also specified the differences between language-specific names and alternate names.

In the “Changing Your Name & Birthday” section of its Help Center, under the “What is a language-specific name?” tab, Facebook wrote:

A language-specific name is your name, as it appears in another language. This way, your friends can see your name in a language they understand.

When you add a language-specific name to your Timeline, your friends will see your name in the way that’s most natural for them. So if they use Facebook in the same language as your language-specific name, that’s what they’ll see. Everyone else will see the name you signed up with. The language-specific name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, student ID, etc.

Right now language-specific names are only available in a few countries. We hope to expand to more places in the future.

And the social network offered the following clarification on how language-specific names differ from alternate names:

A language-specific name is:

  • Your real, full name, as it appears in a different language.
  • Shown in place of the name you signed up with throughout the site (on your Timeline, in search results, posts, comments, and photo tags).
  • Only visible to people using Facebook in that language.

An alternate name is:

  • A different version of your name, like your nickname or maiden name.
  • Displayed in parenthesis next to your name, but only on your Timeline and in search results.
  • Visible to anyone who views your Timeline or search results.

Reader Evyatar Shpilman of Visual Communication shared the screenshot below, in which he has the option of adding a language-specific name in Hebrew (he is based in Israel).

Readers: Are language-specific names available in your country?