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Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

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Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

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We are pleased to welcome Yahoo! Babel Fish users to the Bing Translator family. We have been working closely with our friends at Yahoo! to make this an easy transition, and Bing Translator is a natural upgrade to the experience with Yahoo! Babel Fish. We support all the languages you used with Babel Fish, and provide a superset of all the features.


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You will notice a welcome banner indicating your transition to the Bing Translator site from a Yahoo site when you arrive at Bing Translator.  I am pleased to introduce to you some of the great features that our translation service offers starting with a brief introduction to the technology behind the service.

Our translation technology is built on over a decade of world-class work done at Microsoft Research, and is widely used by a variety of applications and websites. You may have already encountered our technology when you used the translation features within products like Microsoft Office, Bing, Windows Phone, Facebook and Kindle. We serve billions of translations every day across 38 different languages, and we continually add to the list of languages and features. We also have a fast growing developer community.

Text translator: You can translate text snippets between the supported languages on the home page. If you aren’t sure about the language of the source text, you can always leave it as “Auto-Detect” and we will detect it for you. You can also listen to the translation for a sub set of languages by clicking the speaker icon. You can search the web with translated text snippet, or email it. We welcome your feedback on the translation quality.


Webpage translator: Simply type a webpage URL into the text entry box on the home page to translate a webpage. You can use the bi-lingual viewer functionality and switch between various views, including the popular side-by-side view. As you navigate through the site, the webpage translator continues translating.


Website widget: We delivered the first no-code, in-place translation widget several years ago and have improved it further since then. The Microsoft Translator widget is a simple to use web control that can make your site available in multiple languages without any coding, while keeping your users on your site. The unique collaborative translation functionality allows you to customize the translations delivered to your site by partnering with trusted users and allow your community to provide suggestions and corrections, to ensure the translations are always best suited to your content and always up-to-date.


You may also find it interesting to explore the language labs, where you can test new prototypes and demos from the minds of our team’s researchers and engineers. Our blog is here, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and if you have any questions or need any technical support you can use the forums.

You can also directly reach out to us at if you have any other questions.

Once again, welcome! We are very pleased to have you.

Vikram Dendi, Director, Bing/Microsoft Translator (@vikman)

Updated (5/30): Fixed some links

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  • Your Japanese translator neither works with, nor offers, romanji. I entered a term in English to get the Japanese translation; it gave it in hirigana and katakana, neither of which I read. I entered a Japanese phrase in romanji and it repeated it for the "translation." ATT, I'd have to say your translator fails.

  • but it fail to translate a german site to english


    i could provide screenshots as evident if someone would ask.

  • I've been with Yahoo babel fish since many years ago.

    But new Bing is not yet! But I like it.

  • Bing dears... I don't really care what translator I use but I went out of my way to use "Babelfish" because it was called "Babelfish".  I was very loyal to the name.   Please keep the name.  "Bing translator" doesn't make me smile for no apparent reason.

  • I like the new Babelfish/Bing....

  • Here are answers for a good portion of the questions raised in the comments to this post:

    Q: The site language comes up wrong:

    A: You can change the language of the Translator site to English using We will remember the language until you delete cookies.


    Q:  What happened to the Yahoo! Babel Fish site?

    A: After careful consideration, Yahoo! has transitioned its Babel Fish translation services to Bing Translator, which offers additional languages and features for users.  Microsoft is pleased to welcome Yahoo! Babel Fish users to the Bing Translator family. Yahoo! and Microsoft have worked closely together to ensure as seamless a transition as possible from Babel Fish to Bing Translator.


    Q: Did Microsoft buy Babel Fish from Yahoo!?  

    A: No. Yahoo! has simply transitioned from Babel Fish to Bing Translator for translation services.


    Q: The Babel Fish webpage translator widget doesn’t work anymore. What is my alternative?

    A: Yahoo! Babel Fish users will need to upgrade to the Microsoft Widget. Since current Babel Fish users were operating under the Yahoo! terms of use, people will need to accept the Microsoft terms of use and install the widget. 


    Q:  Are all the languages I used on Babel Fish supported by Bing Translator?  

    A: Yes, Babel Fish supported 11 languages, and Bing Translator supports those 11 as well, and 26 additional languages.


    Q:  I have a complaint/comment/concern related to this transition, or something that used to work and now doesn't anymore.

    A: The decision to retire Babel Fish was taken by Yahoo!, and Microsoft and Yahoo!subsequently worked together to provide a transition path for users of the Babel Fish site. Any comments, or concerns related to Bing Translator can be addressed with Microsoft at


    Q:  Why are the translations different?

    A:  The technology that powered the Babel Fish site is different from the linguistically informed statistical machine translation (SMT) technology used by Bing Translator. In recent years, research results have statistical methods can provide better quality and be improved faster than most other approaches. This is one reason why you would see a difference in the way things get translated. Not only that, you will likely see some changes in how Bing Translator translates content over time - as we continue to improve the translation quality.


    Q:  I miss a specific feature, or feature of Bing Translator is not an improvement over what I was used to.

    A:  We would love to hear your feedback about how we could improve particular features to better fit your expectations. Feel free to email us at  or comment
    here with suggestions to improve features of Bing Translator.


    Q: The new web page widget has different dimensions than the Babel Fish one.

    A: Indeed the Translator widget has different dimensions. You may need to slightly adjust your page layout. You can also deploy the Microsoft Translator API directly ( to get full control over the appearence and experience. This is the same API that the widget is using, but has no restrictions on the layout.

    Q: How can I translate a whole site by using just a link?

    A: You can translate a whole site with a URL like this:

    where a= is followed by the URL to translate. The a= parameter must appear last.

  • Hi Joey, that German site you mention translates fine for me. Please send a mail to with a screenshot, and the browser and operating system you are using.

    The Microsoft Translator team

  • For anyone who has read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which you should have) the name Bablefish perfectly discribes the concept of the translator. please bring the name back.

  • très intéressant !

    ne pourrait on pas avoir un traducteur automatique pour la messagerie instantannée (messenger, etc)

  • Christian, voici les instructions pour utiliser la traduction dans les messages instantanés :

  • Hola me gusta la traduccion ya que es muy importante para solucionar muchas cosas en la vidad diaria gracias saludos

  • Lousy. It translates schlieren, from German for streak (term used in optics) as Plymouth. Meaningless service.

  • Hi Dave,

    I see it translating Schlieren just right:

    Ich hatte Schlieren auf der Linse.


    I had streaks on the lens.

    When you report a bug, please submit the sentence that shows the error.

  • how can i add translate button to my tool bar?

  • As a user of both Microsoft Translator and Babelfish, I am ok with the combination of services as long as Microsoft remembers to keep a tag on the service for Babelfish to remember the inspiration of the name From Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams had an inspired idea which created the name.

    RIP Douglas, we miss your insanely brilliant witt.

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