• Posted by Peter Haza
  • On November 28, 2009

  • Filed under Twitter

  • 3 Comments

Why twitter should support multiple languages for one account

It’s become more and more common for tweeps in countries with a different native language than English to create two twitter accounts. One for their native tweets, and one for their English tweets. They do this to reduce the noise for followers who do not understand their native language. However, right now two accounts isn’t a good solution.

First of all, I dislike the idea of having more than one account. It’s very easy to use the wrong account to post, we already see this with people who handle company accounts in addition to their personal one. Secondly it means you have to distribute two account names to other people, which also seems unnecessarily tedious.

I see two solutions for twitter. One is to allow tweeps to handle several accounts from one panel, but there are already clients that support this. Although easier, it’ll still leave the potential of posting from the wrong account and you still have to distribute several account names. This can however be solved if the accounts are linked and when you follow such linked accounts, you’re asked which of them you want to follow.

The second solution is to allow tweets to be tagged with a language, preferably without stealing any of your precious 140 characters. This will eliminate the problem of distributing several account names. Simply select which languages you want to tweet in your twitter settings, and a simple dropdown will allow you to specify which of the languages you want to use when you post a new tweet. When tweeps are following you, they’ll be given an option to filter which languages they want to see from your account.

3 comments

  1. Posted by Shay 28th November, 2009 at 09:12 pm |

    The best solution would be to use a web service to auto translate the text. That way we could actually understand your Norwegian ramblings :)

  2. Posted by harmony7 10th May, 2010 at 01:49 pm |

    I was thinking along the same lines. I really wish I could tweet in multiple languages without having to create separate accounts!

  3. Posted by Daniel Aleksandersen 8th September, 2010 at 11:42 pm |

    This is what is holding me back from signing up for Twitter. The lack of language mark-up. I really see the need to mark a message as being in one language or the other, and for clients and the Web site to support language based filtering of messages.

    For instance, I could be interested in following only the English messages from one user and only the Norwegian messages of another.

    Without some control of language, there will continue to be a language barrier to entry on Twitter.