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Announcing the Microsoft Translator web page widget

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Announcing the Microsoft Translator web page widget

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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.image

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.

Who it is for: Anyone with a web page. If you can paste a small snippet of code into your page, you will be able to display the widget to your audience. No need to know programming intricacies, or how to call a javascript API. No need to write or install server side plug-ins for your specific software. 

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:

  • Innovative: Unlike other (including our) existing solutions, it does not take the users away from the site. The translations are in-place and instant. Users can hover over the translation to see the original. image
  • Easy to Use: Adding it to your page is as easy as copy and paste. Using it on the site is as easy as select language and click the button.
  • Customizable: You can pick the colors that best blend into your site design. You can pick the size that would best fit into your design (in fact the widget has an adaptive layout that better uses real estate when very wide). image
  • Thoughtful User Experience: Progressive rendering allows for the page to get translated progressively – without having the user stare at a white space while the translation is being performed. The translation toolbar that appears when the translation is kicked off provides a progress indicator, the languages selected and a way to turn off the translation.  
  • Localized: The UI is available in multiple languages – so users that come to your page with their browser set to a different language will see the widget in their language. 

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:

  • More polish: We will be looking for your feedback and continue to work on the fit and finish for the widget & toolbar UI.
  • More customizability: We will be evolving the default color palette available to you through the adoption portal. We will also be looking at your feedback on the overall design.
  • New Features: There are a bunch of very cool features that we are working on that will be added soon (your widgets will inherit most of these features). These include “Automatic” translations on page load, multiple layouts/views (bringing in the well received views feature of our bi-lingual viewer offering) and some surprises that we are working on with other teams at Microsoft.

Other questions:

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.

· Arabic

· Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)

· Dutch

· French

· German

· Italian

· Japanese

· Korean

· Polish

· Portuguese

· Russian

· Spanish

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.

I am using a hosted service for my site/blog that does not let me use javascript widgets. What can I do?

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.

Last Updated: 3/18/2009, 4:15 PM

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  • is ms translation only for english speaking? because there is no option to translate french (others) to a language different to english. why?

  • Hi Mamby,

    With the web page widget, it is possible to translate French to any of our other languages.  This feature is not currently available on our landing page but is coming, likely in the next few months.



  • great!

    you are doing a good job !

    quality is the key....

  • Nice. But hopefully the Translator can do a better job of translating across multiple languages rather than going through mostly English translations.

    It's not really a pressing issue, but can't there be a more cooler icon than just some arrow to 'translate'? I know it sounds silly, but I could probably think of more better ways of making a 'translate' button than just a simple arrow.

  • Hi

    I like yo Have Translation for Indian Local Languages like Hindi, punjabi, tamil and many more.!

  • Among a number of other things (especially the Silverlight 3 beta and the final version of Internet Explorer

  • Nice to kinow that Translator keeps on improving. I am already been using the earlier one and have put it on the blog since it was available. Hoping to get the invite for this one soon so as to put this one. But I think this can't be put on Spaces as it doesnot support javascript. So a workaround can be expected? Also as Nikhil said, I would also like to see Translatot entering into Indian languages.Already WL Essentials available in various Indian languages.

  • Also, how to save the translated page?

  • What are the plans for other languages?  Could we see Swedish in the works?

  • Many new and interesting developments on the Microsoft Web platform were unveiled at the MIX09 conference

  • Many new and interesting developments on the Microsoft Web platform were unveiled at the MIX09 conference

  • Microsoft Research Machine Translation team has just announce the availability of Microsoft Translator, a free web based translation service, also branded as Live Search Translator. It offers...

  • The other day I had a feed come though on my RSS and Twitter from Mike Gannotti&#39;s blog talking about

  • how are support translate to Thai language.

  • El reloj del progreso avanza contundente; se mide en años: Twitter=3, Web 2.0=5, Google=10, Yahoo=15,

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