WeChat adds Zulu translation, needs a bit of work

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Last month WeChat added the ability to translate incoming messages within the instant messaging service to its iOS app, and now Android users get to enjoy it too with the app’s latest update.

Language translation on WeChat is pretty simple to use. You select the message you want to translate, tap and hold the message for a few seconds, press the arrow to the right and select translate.


There are more then 20 featured languages you can translate,  including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Thai, among others.

WeChat has also thrown in the ability to add tags to your favourite messages so you can search for them quickly and you can now create a “password” for group chats that only you and your friends will be able to access.

The firm is also looking for volunteers to improve its translations in much the same way that Google uses crowdsourcing to improve its language services. As WeChat is largely owned by South African firm Naspers (via Chinese company Tencent), it’s great to see that Zulu is officially supported in the first round of languages – although it might yet need a bit of work.


For those who don’t speak Zulu, “ngicela amanzi”, which means “may I please have some water”, translates wrongly into “Let the water”. It also failed to translate Sawubona too.

Download or update WeChat from the Google Play Store.