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Facebook in Kriol!

Ever since I became addicted to Facebook 6 or 7 years ago, I've wanted to have the interface available in Kriol. (You can have it in French, Pirate, Upside Down English and Icelandic, but all the small languages like Kriol missed out).

Well, now you can! A very clever fellow wrote some code that lets you translate some of the most common words and phrases on the Facebook interface into whatever language you like. So I whipped up a Kriol version and hey presto - here's what my Facebook looks like now:

It's really easy and fun, and it actually does make me more inclined to write stuff in Kriol. It's available for anyone to install on their own computer and absolutely free. So, if you want to have FB in Kriol too, here's what to do:

Installing Facebook in Kriol on your computer:
So far this only works on computers where you can download and install a little file. It won't work on mobiles etc.
1. Make sure your Facebook account's language is set to "English (US)". (To check, go to the down arrow in the top right hand corner, then "Account Settings" and then "Language")

2. What Internet Browser do you use? So far, I only know how to make this work on Firefox and Google Chrome. If you don't have these browsers, then you can download them very quickly and easily.  If/when you have Google Chrome, you can go straight to Step 3.

If you use Firefox for your Internet browser, then go here: and install the "add-on". Then go to Step 3.

3. Follow the link: and click "install" in the top right hand corner. You might need to close the browser and re-open it, but basically that's all there is to it. Your FB should now have Kriol all over it!

A few other notes
  • only some parts of the Facebook interface are available for translation. A lot of bits will still be in English.
  • I did the translations myself, based on Roper Kriol (as spoken in Ngukurr), and I did them very quickly, so there might be mistakes. If you have suggestions for improvements or notice something that sounds funny, then please tell me and we can work on fixing it up.
  • Feel free to pass these instructions on to anyone who might be interested.
This was very easy to do, so if you want to do it for a language that you know, then go for it! It was developed by a guy named Kevin Scannell. He just send me a little file and some instructions. I translated a bunch of phrases, sent it back to him and that was it! His contact details are available here:

Lastly, here's another example of what my new Kriol Facebook looks like. I love it!

If you have a go at doing this yourself, I'd love to hear how you go with it.


Murray said…
Greg this is fabulous. I was wondering how you translated 'friend'. Is the word 'fren' in Kriol polysemous meaning 'brother-in-law' and also covering the non-kin concept of 'friend'? This also raises questions about neologisms in Australian languages for information technology. Kevin pointed me to this blog which has some great discussion about these kind of translation issues which others might also find useful:
Greg Dickson said…
Hi Murray,

Yes friend/fren is problematic as fren really means brother-in-law in Kriol. Kriol speakers would be aware of the English meaning but I don't think they really use it that way themselves. In my translation, I just went with "fren" or "frenmob" as I assumed any Kriol speaking users would recognise it as a Facebook "thing" and import the English semantics.

When doing this sort of thing, there are inevitably lots of funny sounding things. A language like Kriol that isn't terribly well suited to the language of headings, tables and other neatly organised concise written forms. E.g. Above Facebook Ads, it reads "sponsored", which I translated as "Ola Ad dislot iya". (Didn't know what to do with "Ad" either!).
Anonymous said…
Ad - Maitbi 'ola ting maitbi yu wandim bla baiyim';

Aibin jis pudim dijan Kriol garram main feisbuk. Im garra album mi yusum main Kriol mowa en mowa.

Gudwan dijan ting - Mowa en Mowa pipul hu tok tok Kriol brabliwei bin joinap garra feisbuk du.

Yu garram Kriol bla yusum garram 'spelling and grammar' garra wed ting (document). Ai wandim det red lain nomo kamap andanith det wed wen im Kriol wed, nomo rong spelling.


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