Translating toots with Workflow

If you’re using Mastodon on an iPhone, you’re probably using the excellent Amaroq client. For some very good reasons, it doesn’t have a built-in feature to translate toots into your own language. That’s OK, though. We can implement that ourselves!

This will walk you through the process of installing Workflow on your iPhone, then configuring Amaroq to use it to translate toots from your timeline. There are a lot of steps here, but most of them are for the one-time setup. Don’t worry: you won’t have to do all of these every time you want to read something written in French.

Setting up Workflow

First, install Workflow. It’s an app (now owned and supported by Apple) that lets you automate things on your iPhone. Side note: if you’re even slightly techie or think you might like to be, Workflow is an amazing and friendly way to start writing your own iOS features.

Workflow in the App Store

Visit the Translate Mastodon workflow page. Tap “GET WORKFLOW”.

Translate Mastodon workflow

When prompted to ‘Open in “Workflow”?’, tap “Open”.

Open in "Workflow"?

You’ll see a prompt: “What language would you like to translate to?” Tap English to change to the language of your choice, then Done to remember your decision. (You can always edit this later, but you’ll have to do it manually.)

Choose a language

Tap the “play” button at the top.

Workflow "play" button

You’ll get a popup saying “This workflow was imported from Safari. …”. Tap “Run Workflow” to continue. You’ll get a “No URL Specified” error. That’s fine – you can ignore it.

OK to run Workflow prompt

First time Amaroq setup

Now that we’ll configure Amaroq to send toots to the “Translate Mastodon” workflow.

First, view a toot you’d like to translate. Tap the “…” button under it.

A toot I want to read

Tap “Share”.

The share button

In the bottom row, scroll to the right and tap the “… More” button.

The ... More button

Tap the toggle next to “Run Workflow” to enable it, then “Done”.Enable Run Workflow

Tap “Run Workflow”.

The Run Workflow button

Tap “Translate Mastodon”.

Translate Mastodon button

With a little luck, you’re now reading the translated toot!

The translated toot

Regular usage

Now you’re done with all the setup stuff! It’s a lot simpler to use this on a regular basis.

Now view another toot you’d like to translate. Tap the “…” button.

A toot I want to read

Tap “Share”.

The share button

Tap “Run Workflow”.

The Run Workflow button

Tap “Translate Mastodon”.

Translate Mastodon button

Enjoy!

The translated toot