- Timeline>Update Info>Basic info>languages>then type your language(s) in
- Home>Account Settings>Name>Language First and Last
- Home>Account Settings>Name>Alternative Name
- Read Facebook Help Centre How do I display an alternate name (ex: nickname or maiden name) on my profile? (to add a name in another character set in brackets after your Facebook name), and/or the Help Centre Language-specific names article.
There are two methods to add multilingual names in Facebook:
- Facebook ‘language-specific names‘, which have the advantage of being searchable, and displayed to people who use Facebook in that language
- ‘Alternative name’, which isn’t searchable but appears in brackets after your name so looks ‘cool’ or ‘pretentious’ depending on your point-of-view.
The screen shots below were taken by me as I added my name in Russian (Russian Cyrillic) and Chinese (traditional Chinese characters) at the end June 2012. I use Facebook as an ‘English (UK)’ language user. Facebook was accessed whilst I was in Madrid – what I’m trying to say is that different language variants of Facebook may behave differently, or as my US friends say “your mileage may vary”.
I’m not sure if you need to tell Facebook you can speak a language before you use it in ‘Alternative name’ field, but assuming you want to use a non-Latin equivalent then I had problems adding a nickname for a language I hadn’t told Facebook I could speak. When I tried to add my Korean name in Hangeul Facebook say there were too many characters.
So to avoid any problems I recommend you add the languages you want your name in as languages you can speak first.
Step 1: Add the languages you speak by selecting ‘Update Info’ in your Timeline profile
Step 2: Click the ‘Edit’ button in the ‘Basic info’ section
Step 3: Next start typing in the language you want to say you know in the ‘language box’. Facebook will auto-suggest so choose the language you think is right – this didn’t feel right to me as it looked like I was selecting ‘pages’ about the languages but it worked nevertheless.
Step 4: Now you’ve told Facebook which language(s) you ‘know’, you can save your changes and select ‘Account Settings’ from the drop down menu next to ‘Home’.
Step 5: Select ‘Edit’ alongside your name
Step 6: Type your name(s) into the appropriate box(es) – because I told Facebook I ‘know’ Russian, Chinese and German I have boxes for Russian and Chinese.
Step 7a: Add your password and click ‘Save changes’, if everything is OK you will be returned to the ‘General settings’ page.
Step 7b: Type in your new ‘language-specific name in the Facebook search box, if your update worked then your profile should be shown in the search drop-down suggestions list. The image below shows that my Russian name was added successfully.
Step 8: Adding an ‘Alternative name’, this is pretty straight forward at this stage you can just type in your ‘alternate name’ in appropriate box. I was only able to type my Chinese ‘first’ name not my ‘surname’.
Step 9: Errors and workarounds
Facebook would not allow me to add my full Chinese name (which was typed, checked and confirmed as correct by a native Chinese speaker).
Having tried various combinations I decided to add my Chinese name as an ‘alternative name’, however I was unable to add my both first name and surname.
Facebook was, however, happy to allow my Chinese first name only as shown below
That’s all folks! If you’ve got this far you should now have the multilingual names wanted!