Facebook is an international social network. There are hundreds of millions of users who don’t speak English as their first language. You might end up friends with some of them, whether it’s because you meet travelling, or they’re distant family, or for any of a million other reasons. To help make life easier for you, Facebook will, by default, translate their posts for you.


This is great if you don’t speak a word of French, or Swedish, or whatever language your friend is posting in, but if you do the translations are often merely okay. “Merci la belle communauté”, which is what Facebook has translated above, means something closer to “Thanks to the beautiful community”, rather than “Thank you the beautiful community”.

If you’ve got any familiarity with another language, Facebook’s automatic translations are probably going to annoy you more than help you. Let’s look at how to turn them off.

When you see a post that’s been translated automatically in your New Feed, you can click on the Settings icon and select “Disable Automatic Translation For”.

This will turn off automatic translation, but still leave an option for you to click Translate this Post. If you select Never Translate, you won’t even get that option.

Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Language. You can get there by clicking on the downward facing arrow in the top right of the menu bar and selecting Settings.

Followed by Language.

Click “Which Languages Do You Not Want Automatically Translated” and enter the language you want.

Click Save Changes, and those posts in that language will no longer be automatically translated but you will have the option to translate them.

If you don’t want even that, click “Which Languages Do You Understand”, add the language, and then click Save Changes.

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Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
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