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Avoid automatic translation of Facebook posts

Once more today my French friend's post was translated.

French is my mother tongue so I sure don't need the automatic translation for French on my Facebook wall. I also like to read a couple other languages, even if I'm not at the best level I only need a little help with a few words here and there, so I like to have those in the original language to improve. The more you read a language the more you learn about it. Same if you live in a country and start talking with people there. You're going to learn a lot more that way than staying at home and not talking to anyone any day.

So... Facebook actually provides a set of Language Settings which include a list of language that they should not translate for you. By doing so, those posts you want to read in their original language will remain in that language.

Screenshot of the Facebook language settings

As we can see, you have to go to your Settings (top-right button, the one selection before Log Out) and then click on Language.

The second section is about translations.

The language to translate into. I prefer English become in most cases translations to English work better (I tried to French before and I can tell you that any language to English is most often better than any language to French.)

Then you have a list of language that you say you understand. So they won't get translated or if the post already includes a translation, you will be shown a version in one of those languages.

Finally there is a list of languages that you do not want to have things translated automatically. I put the same list of languages (not shown above) in this list and the previous one. I am not too sure what the exact differences are between the two. But I would imagine that this is enough to tell Facebook not to auto-translate certain languages.

The top selection "What language to use Facebook in?" is the language of the interface. All the buttons, dropdown menus, tabs, links, etc. will be in that language.

The Multilanguage posts I don't use. I at times write posts in both French and English so my French peers can read the "native" post instead of the translation.

What I find interesting, though, is that Facebook does not seem to try to infer that you understand a certain language even if you post many things in French (like I do) they have not yet auto-decided that maybe I understand French just fine and should not auto-translate. I suppose that feature did not occur to them yet or maybe they think it would be too small of a usage (which I think is wrong, there are tons of people in this world who speak 2 or 3 languages fluently, many have knowledge of 4 to 7 languages...)


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