Today, we are releasing updates to Skype Translator Preview including two new languages, Chinese and Italian. The updated app also has new features to help make speech to speech translation even easier such as continuous speech recognition and automatic volume control. Here is a full list of updates to the new and improved Skype Translator Preview:
Read more about these updates on the Skype blog, and be sure to sign up at try out the new features yourself at www.skype.com/translator. To learn more about the work the Microsoft Research Asia team did behind the scenes to help support Chinese in this release, check out this video. Learn More about Skype Translator:
We are happy to announce that have added three new languages– Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian to our list of supported languages. This brings the total number of languages supported by Microsoft Translator to 50! Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are welcome additions to the list of Microsoft Translator’s supported languages. Although similar in form and structure, these languages belong to countries that have a unique histories and cultures. These languages are primarily spoken in South East Europe, in the region between Italy and Greece. The nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia are major tourist destinations, with millions of people visiting each year. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is well known for its old bazaar known as Bascarsija, which was built in the 15th century. Croatia’s coastline draws hordes of visitors to its shores, and the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, has a booming nightlife. These three nations also host a variety of business and professional opportunities within their borders. We are excited to launch these translation systems, making it possible for people around the globe to have a richer understanding of these cultures and this area of the world. Microsoft Translator’s automatic translation engine makes instant translation a reality no matter where you are. We offer a wide variety of languages spoken all over the world, and beyond— from Africa to Asia, North America to Europe...and even Klingon. Whether you use Translator via Bing.com/Translator, on your desktop using the Windows 8 app, in Office*, through Skype Translator, SharePoint, Lync, in your own app or service through the Translator API, or simply through your favorite social media or consumer review app, you will now be able to communicate in 50 languages and have your world in your words. You can even check out these new translation systems on the go using the Translator app for Windows Phone, featuring camera mode** for translating text on walls, signs, et cetera-- wherever they may be! Learn More about Microsoft Translator:
* Newly released language will only appear in Microsoft Office applications if you update the service from within the app. See the steps here: http://aka.ms/TranslatorAddNewLanguageInOffice
** Serbian only support for the moment.
Let’s face it: customers appreciate simplicity. Nothing saves an angry customer from becoming an ex-customer like simple, seamless customer support. Savvy businesses offer up to a dozen contact channels to deliver support at the right time and place for a customer, but many are stymied by the complexity of providing this level of support for their entire customer base, and in a variety of different selling mediums. Consider the multi-lingual nature of North America alone. According to a recent survey, 30% of North Americans do not consider the English language as their native language. The number of limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals in the United States has also grown by 81 percent since 1990. Finally, nearly one in ten working-age U.S. adults—19.2 million persons aged 16 to 64—are considered limited English proficient. The complexity, customer service executives would say, is that they cannot possibly staff for support of all the languages of all their customers any given point. Another factor making effective customer service seemingly complex is the dynamic way customers can interact with service providers. This interaction is omni-channel, whereby customers can not only buy products from selling organizations, but also reverse direction and interact and provide feedback to that sell for all to see. This has put new pressure on sellers to quickly and effectively manage this interaction, or risk a hostile reputation. Indeed, according to Forrester Research, 67% of today’s Internet users would prefer to find (pre- and post- sales) answers online. Modern, simple customer support is dynamic – whether one to one contact channels like email ticketing and chat, communication takes place in near real time. Chat, for example, can be an effective way for customers to reach out to customer service representatives to have their issues resolved, and learn about new products. At the same time, technology has made it possible to allow customers to converse in their own native language, and provide the same capability for company representatives and other customer service staff. This is achieved by enhanced, personalized machine translation. As a result, multinational businesses – or even businesses with multilingual customer bases – can significantly broaden their reach, boost brand loyalty and cost-effectively support customers, regardless of language, location or device. Best of all, translation processes can be specially mindful of industry terms that need to be carefully translated, security concerns, and easy accessibility by both agent and consumer. Enhanced, personalized machine translation is definitely not as perfect as human translation. But that’s okay. What it does do is aide chat conversations that cannot wait for long-term translation perfection to be actionable, understandable, and immediate. When deploying machine translation in a support environment, organizations must consider:
This is the heart of what GeoFluent by Lionbridge does every day for all of our customers. As a result of our partnership with Microsoft Translator, we can help answer these challenges and make the customer service translation process simple, actionable, understandable, and immediate. Your customer base is only growing more diverse and channel-savvy. Providing simple, cost effective in language customer support is within your grasp. Please visit http://geofluent.lionbridge.com/ to learn how state of the art machine translation can make multilingual, multi-channel, customer support simple. By: Greg Belkin, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management, Lionbridge.