Following a 6 month absence, Twitter has quietly brought back the instant translation option. Geekwire noticed today that users can once again translate tweets made in foreign languages using Microsoft’s Bing Translator.
Bing Translator integration was added in July 2013 but was unexpectedly removed in August 2014. I can't speak as to how it worked before, but now when twitterati encounter a tweet in a foreign language which is supported by Bing translator, they can hover their mouse cursor over the tweet and make a translate option appear (this option is hidden when the foreign language is unsupported).
Click the translate icon and the tweet will expand and show the translated text below the original untranslated tweet.
The translation option won't work to translate your tweets, and it won't work in third-party Twitter client apps, so anyone who uses one of those apps will need to continue using whatever they've been using. But this feature does work on the Twitter website, TweetDeck, and the Twitter apps for iOS and Android.
Judging by the comments left on my post from August and the tweets I've seen, the Bing Translator integration has been sorely missed in certain circles. I didn't know about the feature until after it vanished, but I can say that I appreciate its return.
I currently use the gTranslate option in Chrome when I need to translate a tweet. It's only a right click away, but for some strange reason the right click sometimes stops working on the Twitter website (I don't understand it either).
Having a new way to translate tweets will prove useful.