Facebook launches M Translations for all Messenger chats in the US and Mexico

It translates English to Spanish and vice versa.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Facebook is expanding its M Translations tool.


Facebook is expanding M Translations, its tool for automatically translating languages on the social network's Messenger chat app.

The company said Thursday it's bringing the feature to all users in the US and Mexico, for translating messages between English and Spanish.  

Facebook previously announced M Translations in April at its F8 developer conference. But at the time, it was  available only when users on Marketplace, Facebook's version of Craigslist and eBay, used Messenger to try to arrange a transaction but spoke different languages. Now, M Translations is coming to all Messenger chats in the US and Mexico.

The translation tool is a part of M Suggestions, a feature for Messenger that uses artificial intelligence to people tap out quick replies, make plans or book a ride.

The move comes as Facebook has tried to make Messenger more than an alternative to texting, but a one-stop shop for e-commerce, payments and games.

Here's how M Translations works: If your default language on Messenger is English and you receive a text in Spanish, Facebook's software will ask you if you want the message translated. If you agree, it will translate the text, and you can set up auto-translate for all Spanish texts in that conversation. The tool also works if your default language on Messenger is Spanish, and you receive texts in English.

Facebook says it plans to add more languages and countries in the future. 

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