Facebook’s previously announced language translation AI has finally brought direct Spanish translations to the company’s Messenger app. With this, users can see direct translations to and from Spanish/English without using a secondary translation tool. This is the latest step in AI-powered translations helping remove the language barrier.
Facebook revealed the feature back in April, though it has been limited to Marketplace for users in the United States. That served as a testing period for Facebook, which is pleased with the results, according to TechCrunch, which got a comment from the company.
Assuming you’re in the United States, you’ll start receiving prompts from Facebook’s “M” artificial intelligence system. It works with English and Spanish at this time, but Facebook has previously said that it expects to grow the translations to include other languages and availability in other countries.
How does it work? With very little effort on the user’s part, thankfully. Let’s assume you’re a Messenger user in the US and your default language on Facebook is English. If someone sends you a private message in Spanish, the M assistant will issue a prompt asking if you would like to receive automatic language translation when chatting with that particular individual.
You can dismiss the prompt if you’re not interested or enable automatic translations if you need them. Once you make your choice (via a tap on that prompt), you’ll see automatic translations appear for each message you get in Spanish (and vice versa) in that conversation. The translations appear slightly indented and directly beneath the original message.