Facebook offers developers free translation tools

Facebook is offering web developers a free tool that will enable them to translate websites, applications or social widgets.

The tool is based on an application called Translations that Facebook introduced in January 2008 and it is now available in 65 languages.

After integrating Translations for Facebook Connect using HTML and JavaScript, developers can choose what language their site should support.

Once this is done they can either get the Facebook community to translate the site, start the translation themselves, or make someone else administer the process.

As a use case, Facebook gave an example of travel sites that wanted to attract foreign visitors by using the tool to translate their site and present the content to users in their native language.

It could also have applications in the business world, for example if a small business wanted to develop a website for an international audience.

Cat Lee, platform manager at Facebook, said in a blog entry that the company was excited to see what developers and businesses would be able to do with this tool.

She added: "As a technology and platform company, we believe services like this can serve as building blocks for a web driven by people where you can connect with anyone or anything you care about, anywhere you choose and now in many different languages."