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August 07, 2014

Goodbye Language Barriers, Hello Mobile Review Translation!

Since 2004, the Yelp family has grown to include 27 countries, allowing Yelpers to write reviews in 15 languages. We want to make it even easier to tap into the rich, local wisdom in Yelp reviews, so today we’re announcing a brand new feature on the Yelp iPhone app: automated review translation!

Picture this: You’re vacationing in Milan and want to try the best gelato in the city. Although there’s a gelato shop on every corner, you want to find the real deal - a spot that isn’t overflowing with tourists. You whip out your handy Yelp app to begin the search, but find yourself wishing you paid more attention in Italian class in high school. Now you can discover recommendations straight from the local experts themselves, no matter what language they speak.

Mobile Review Translation collage 2

Translated reviews for Latteneve in Milan, Italy.

The Yelp app uses Bing Translator to translate foreign language reviews with the tap of a button. You can translate one review, or all reviews in one language at a time.

Although machine-translation is not perfect, it’s a fantastic resource for understanding the overall meaning and context of a review that would otherwise be unavailable to a Yelper who does not speak that language. Use this feature to get a general idea of a reviewer’s experience, but understand that some details may be lost in translation.

Yelp has always given both locals and travelers alike the ability to find the best hidden gems through the knowledge of the Yelp global community, and mobile review translation makes that even easier. This tool also gives local businesses that are a bit off the beaten path a better chance to be discovered by travelers. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!

The translation feature works for all 15 officially supported Yelp languages: English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, French, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, and Japanese.

Review translation is only available on the Yelp mobile app - iPhone today and Android soon to come - so make sure to download the iPhone app before you hit the road. Happy travels, Yelpers!