Localizing Twitter vocabulary like “Follow” and “Tweet”

Localizing Twitter vocabulary and "words"How does the world say Tweet?

UPDATED: We’ve added lots more Twitter vocabulary and more languages in our iOS Localization Term Glossary!

Facebook succeeded in turning “Likes” into a noun and simultaneously revolutionized the speed at which we build social relationships and destroy grammar. What about Twitter?

Twitter has also introduced new “words” into English. Even for native speakers it is difficult to know how to use them. Stephen Colbert famously “twatted,” but the more popular past tense of “tweet” has settled upon “tweeted.”

For translators and localization engineers, words like “Follow” have become important for many applications. Instead of watching a discussion, we now follow it. But how should we translate Follow into the rest of the world’s languages?

TO TWEET OR TWITTER BY ANY OTHER NAME…

Here is a glossary of the most common Twitter vocabulary localized into some of the languages Twitter currently supports. This “cheat sheet” will be helpful for translators localizing websites and apps that want to maintain consistency with Twitter terms.

Twitter Glossary

Follow
Following 
Unfollow
Tweet
Retweet
Tweets
Mentions
Following
Followers
(verbs/buttons) (verbs) (nouns/lists)
Spanish Seguir
Siguiendo
Dejar de seguir
Twittear
Retwittear
Tweets
Menciones
Siguiendo
Seguidores
French Suivre
Abonné
Se désabonner
Tweeter
Retweeter
Tweets
Mentions
Abonnements
Abonnés
Italian Segui
Following
Smetti di seguire
Twittare
Ritwittare
Tweet
Menzioni
Following
Follower
Portuguese Seguir
Seguindo
Deixar de Seguir
Tweetar
Retweetar
Tweets
Menções
Seguindo
Seguidores
Russian (Твиттер) Читать
Читаю
Отмена
Твитнуть
Ретвитнуть
Твиты
Упоминания
Читает
Читатели
Japanese (ツイッター) フォロー
フォロー中
解除
ツイートする
リツイートする
ツイート
@ツイート
フォロー
フォロワー
Korean (트위터) 팔로우
팔로잉
언팔로우
트윗하기
리트윗
트윗들
멘션
팔로잉
팔로워
Chinese (Simplified) 关注
正在关注
取消关注
发推
转推
推文
提及
正在关注
关注者
Chinese (Traditional) 關注
正在關注
取消關注
推文
轉推
推文
提及
正在關注
關注者

Will tweet for food

This glossary was created by reading through Twitter’s pages in the target languages, but they aren’t perfect. There are cases where one Twitterism might work, and others where local grammar or common sense precludes a term. For example, note that “following” in English is translated in at least two ways for some languages, depending on whether it is the button (“I am following”), or a list of users you are following.

Use the comments to help keep this list updated. I’ll add any languages you need.


2 thoughts on “Localizing Twitter vocabulary like “Follow” and “Tweet”

  1. Amy

    This is so helpful, thank you! The nonprofit I work for is trying to reach out to a more diverse population on twitter. But, it is so hard to tweet when you aren’t a native speaker! I would love help finding out more translations of common twitter phrases like “FollowFridays”, “RT”, “Tweeter/Tweeps”, etc

    Reply
  2. hazel

    Communication in this day and age is key! Most of us use our apps endlessly to communicate with the people in our lives. I’m so glad we have apps like these available.

    Reply

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