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5 questions from our followers about Facebook language settings

Posted on Monday February 18, 2019

5 questions from our followers about Facebook language settings

You already know that we have a Facebook page that we manage with the greatest care! We also receive inquiries on a regular basis, and many of them have to do with the use of languages on this social media platform. For example, some of you ask why you see our posts in English instead of French. This is one of the 5 burning questions we respond to in this article.

According to the 2016 Canadian Census, New Brunswick was 65.4% Anglophone and 32.4% Francophone. We're proud of our Acadian roots and dedicated to serving our clients in the language of their choice, whether French or English. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of official bilingualism in New Brunswick. Our commitment to provide outstanding service in both official languages extends to social media.


1. Why do I see your posts on my news feed in English when I am Francophone?

If you're seeing posts in English on your news feed, it's because your Facebook settings indicate that you prefer to view posts in English or that you understand English. This is easy enough to confirm: when you look at the list of items running down the top left of your home page, you'll see that they are all in English. Do you want to switch languages? Simply go into your Facebook settings (or click the tiny arrow on the top right of the page and then "Settings"), and in the menu that appears to the left, click "Language".

Individual Facebook pages may also choose to target the news feeds of specific groups. If your settings match the parameters of our target group, then you'll see our posts in your news feed. These parameters may include language, geographic location, age, sociodemographic data and many other specific attributes.


2. Why do I see your posts in both languages when I visit your Facebook page?

Everyone sees our posts in both languages (one after the other) when they visit our page.

Like you, we would very much prefer for you to see only one of the posts, but this isn't possible due to the way that Facebook works. That said, then why not just publish a single post in both languages? This isn't an option for us only because trying to fit text in both languages into the accompanying images would take up far too much space. It's first and foremost a matter of esthetics (presenting text and visuals together in a readable way). To complicate matters, we can only include one link per post, and so we would have to choose one language over the other each time which, in our opinion, would not be ideal.


3. If I want to comment on a post of yours that I am seeing in English (and I understand why), then can I make my comment in French, or do I have to reply in English?

Of course you can make your comment in French! We review all comments closely no matter what language they are posted in. We also make it a priority to respond to you within 24 hours. If you write to us in French, then we respond to you in French. If you write to us in English, we respond in English.


4. Sometimes posts are translated automatically into French in my news feed, but the quality of the French is poor. Why?

When Facebook detects that a post is getting a lot of views and reactions, it translates the post automatically in your news feed, but the resulting product is often far from perfect, because the translation is performed by software. If you find this automated translation tool annoying, you can deactivate it in your settings.


5. If I see a post in English in my news feed, can I get Facebook to display the post in French for me?

Yes, if the company that made the post has already prepared a French-language version. Near the top left of the post, simply click on the drop-down menu, choose a language, and the translated version will be displayed instantly:

Having read this, keep in mind that Facebook always seems to be full of surprises. The information we're providing here is accurate as of the date of this post, but Facebook could make changes at any time, which makes it important to stay abreast of modifications to the site functionality. In the meantime, we invite you to follow us on Facebook!


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