Facebook recently announced it would be asking its users to translate its application for free. This is a company that has a bucket-load of VC cash and is ‘allegedly’ worth $15 billion (although some beg to differ, Barry Diller said in the New York Times, “If it was real money, it would be insane, but since it isn’t really, then why bother. It doesn’t mean anything, it is a phantom, false valuation. Let them sell for $14 billion, 998 million, and then I’ll believe them.”) Facebook today is only available in English, Spanish and German.
We’re poor, but have [somehow] managed to have eight languages present on the site over the last couple of years. In part, this is thanks to highly appreciated efforts from interns and volunteers.
Our new applications for jobs, housing and classifieds were launched last August and are already available in six languages (Deutsch, English, Español, Français, Italiano, Nederlands), with Russian and Portguese in the pipeline. We were really happy to see that people looked at 746,360 pages on these applications in February. We have some great feedback from users and are working hard to make everything work better.
A key area for us is to make sure we are as inclusive as possible. If you are a native speaker of a language not listed above and would like to help out get in touch. Unlike Facebook, we are offering some cash for your time and help. We don’t know if we are going to make any money doing this, but we’re happy to take the risk and put in the work our side. Especially as one of our key goals is to provide useful services to as many people as possible, especially those who don’t have access to much choice today.