The Microsoft Translator from the Microsoft Research (MSR) is now available for download in the Microsoft Download Center. Another translation service for Microsoft Office? Do you need it? Well, more choices are a good thing—especially in the area of languages and machine translation. After all, you don’t want to inadvertently say something to your grandmother or to your pen pal in a machine-translated letter that you don’t mean to say.

 

The Microsoft Translator is free, available in many language pairs with more being added soon, and can be used with Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007. So you don’t need to worry about having an older version of Microsoft Office. The best feature of this new service is the side-by-side comparison of the original document and the translated document. This allows you to easily compare the translation quality to the original document in a single browser window.

 

If you discover that you prefer one service for one language and another service for a different language, you can easily change the preferred service for each language pair: in the Research pane, under the Search for text box, selection Translation, and then click Translation options. In the Translations options dialog box, under the Machine Translation section, you can scroll to the right of the relevant language pair and select the service you want from the drop-down menu.

 

Ultimately, human translation is optimal—so you don’t say something to your grandmother or your pen pal that you need to apologize for later—but machine translation is the next best solution. Having more translation service choices available in the product that you are using to create your letter to your grandmother or your pen pal makes it easier for you to say exactly what you want to say, in the language that you want to say it. You can also quickly understand the gist of the text you have received.

 

You can find more information about this feature in the “Translate Text” Help asset.

 

Daj Oberg

Office Content Publishing