Twitter is a now a worldwide phenomenon, with people tweeting about everything from breaking news to what they just ate. Put simply: Twitter is a platform from which to share short snippets of information (limited to 140 characters) about whatever takes your fancy. And with so much information flooding into Twitter every second of every day it’s not difficult to see how vast this pool of information is… so how do people sort through all these snippets of information? Well, partly by using hashtags: strings of information (often words) used to group tweets together into categories – thereby facilitating searches and enabling users to filter tweets into topics that they have a specific interest in: such as translation. So which hashtags do translators tend to use?
The favorite hashtag for translation-industry professionals seems to be #xl8 – regardless of (or perhaps because of) the fact that its derivation is far from easy to understand: presumably “x” = trans; “l” = l (itself) and “8″ = ate. Giving: “trans” + “l” + “ate” = “translate”.
This one has a much more obvious derivation than the last (“t” = the first letter of translation, “9″ = the number of letters between the first and last letter of translation and “n” being the last letter of translation”).
The most obvious translation-related hashtag is, of course, #translation. However, those that use this hashtag must sacrifice 12 (13 with a space before it) of their alloted 140 character limit – plus because it’s such a general term, many professional translators choose not to use it.
With a similar derivation to #t9n, #l10n means “localization” – a topic that’s always relatively popular.
This particular tag, #g11n (meaning “globalization”), seems to have fallen almost entirely out of use – which is a shame, because although it may not be a particular popular term, it is nontheless an important topic…
Other hashtags of specific interest to translators include #linguistics, #language, #trados, #wordfast, #memoq, and many many more. Plus, because people are free to create their own hashtags, as new interests/topics emerge, so do new hashtags to organize them.