This is a repost from the Microsoft Research Machine Translation (MSR-MT) Team Blog by permission, and I have also implemented on my site. I know that many of my readers are beyond the US and the English speaking world, and from browser settings over 25% of my readers are not set to English. I’d love to have feedback on how useful this machine translation is for you – or would you get more benefit from some of our local support engineers also running blogs?
On to the announcement:
The Microsoft Translator team is very proud to announce the technology preview of an innovative offering for web page translations. Attendees to MIX09 this week get a special invitation to try out the Microsoft Translator web page widget. We are also accepting registrations, and will be sending out more invites as they become available.
What it is: Built on top of the Microsoft Translator AJAX API (also announced today) it is a small, customizable widget that you can place on your web page – and it helps you instantly makes the page available in multiple languages.
What it offers: It provides a simple interface to anyone that visits the web page to select and translate content into a different language. You can see a demo on this page.
What is cool about it:
Fun! What does it cost: It is completely free. You can put it on any site – commercial or non-commercial. You are only limited by the invite codes available at this point, but over the coming months we plan to make it more widely available.
What we are working on:
I can’t get it to work. Where can I get support or provide feedback?
I would like to highlight that this is a technology preview release – so please do test it on your site before presenting to your users. The Microsoft Translator forums are now live. Feel free to head over and interact with other users. You will also find members of our team there who can help.
Can this save me the cost of doing human translation on my professional website?
Our goal (and that of most machine translation systems available today) is to provide what we call “useful” translations. While the technology is improving month to month, it will still take a long time before it can match human translation quality. We don’t recommend using machine translation for sensitive or highly critical information. You can learn more about translation quality here and here. You can learn more about how we do machine translation here.
How many languages do you support? When can you add support for <insert language here>?
Currently we support the following languages.
· Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)
Polish was our most recent addition. Our goal is to keep adding languages as we get enough training data to meet our minimum (“useful”) quality criteria which include both standard measurements and human evaluations.
We are looking to work with providers of hosted services to make adding the widget an easy process for their users. If your provider does not offer this, please let them and us know that you would like to see the widget work with your site.
Keep checking this post and our forums for announcements, known issues and more information. You can follow our MIX09 coverage on twitter and on Vikram’s blog.