By Anozie Egole
Facebook has added three new languages; Corsican, Fulah and Maltese to bring to one hundred and one, the number of languages on its platform. Facebook is now available in 101 languages even as more than one billion people use Facebook in a language other than English. Facebook declared that its mission is to give people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected because language is vital to connection. The company said it discovered very early when it was only available in English, that people using Facebook were from all over the world. In 2007 it built a Translate Facebook app that enabled anyone to translate the Facebook interface into their own language. Over the years, a vibrant community has developed, helping to make Facebook available in languages from all over the world. What is particularly interesting about this community is that they have helped Facebook translate the service into nine languages that are on UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. These languages are the hardest languages to translate – there are fewer people speaking them and many of them oftentimes are not spoken in the home. “So much is carried through language – tradition, culture, different opinions – it is vital to have these languages in danger represented on Facebook because it opens up communication and connectedness to more people. There are thousands of languages in the world and to connect everyone, we have to be available in languages people are comfortable with and understand. We have a long way to go in collaborating with the community of translators and are so grateful for all of their help.