Microsoft Translator Team Blog

News and Views from the Microsoft Translator Team in Microsoft Research.

Visit our Forums

For questions please use Microsoft Translator technical forums. We monitor them daily!

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator API and Hub Feedback and Support has Moved

    • 0 Comments

    Do you have questions or feedback about the Microsoft Translator API service, the Translator Hub, or the Translator Web Widget? You can now submit them to our new UserVoice site at translatorbusiness.uservoice.com.

    Just like the MSDN forum, UserVoice lets you report any issues and get answers to your questions. You can now also vote on new ideas to help guide our product features and developments, and stay up to date on new product features. The transition to this more modern and flexible platform will help us be more reactive to your needs because it quickly makes visible to us, and everyone else, what is important for you and other partners using Microsoft Translator.

    Please post any new issues to translatorbusiness.uservoice.com. After March 1st, the MSDN forum will be read-only-- you will no longer be able to add new questions or comments, and you will not be able to receive further comments from other users.

    As always, you can read more about all Microsoft Translator product updates here in our blog, or by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as Facebook for our consumer offerings such as our apps.

    For support on our apps and bing.com/translator you can still use the existing consumer-focused forum at microsofttranslator.uservoice.com.

     

    Learn More about Microsoft Translator Products:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    New Microsoft Translator Customization Features Help Unleash the Power of Artificial Intelligence for Everyone

    • 0 Comments

    Today, we are changing how companies approach automatic translation by leveraging our artificial intelligence expertise to enable anyone to quickly and easily customize translation systems, even without large amounts of previously translated sentences. In addition, we are giving you the chance to progressively improve the system as more data becomes available.

    We are making these updates because every company is unique, and so are its translation needs. Until a few years ago, automatic translation solutions only offered two approaches when it came to translating your content — use a default translation engine that powers major translation sites and apps such as Bing.com/translator, or build your own customized system painfully from scratch.

    In 2012, Microsoft Translator broke this inflexible model with the launch of the Microsoft Translator Hub. This is just one instance of a broader class of work Microsoft is pursuing around artificial intelligence, and our vision for more personal computing experiences and enhanced productivity aided by systems that increasingly can see, hear, speak, understand and even begin to reason. The Hub allowed users to create as many custom systems as needed by combining Microsoft's enormous translation corpus with their own previously translated documents, such as internal or external websites, brochures, white papers, etc.

    There are 4 general levels of customization now available to Microsoft Translator API users, with corresponding increases in resource investment and translation quality.

    1. New: Use a Standard Category instead of the default one

      Our new standard categories allow you to easily customize the context of your translation by narrowing the scope of the statistical analysis that Microsoft Translator uses to translate your text. Simply speaking, with standard categories, you can tell Microsoft Translator what type of content is being translated in order to improve its accuracy. The first two standard categories we are announcing today are "tech" and "speech", with more on the way.

      • The "tech" category will improve translation quality on all computer-related content (software, hardware, networking...) and has been built with the vast amount of data collected over the years within Microsoft as we translated product help files, documentation, and customer support for our users, and from other sources such as TAUS. The list of languages for which the tech category is supported can be found here.

      • The "speech" category was developed in the last 18 months as we built Skype Translator. For Skype Translator to work properly, it was critical to be able to translate spoken text, which in most cases can be very different from the written text. The languages that are supported in this category are the same speech translation languages that are available for Skype Translator and Microsoft Translator apps for iOS and Android. As new speech languages are released for these applications, the equivalent "speech" category will become available for text translation in our core Translator API as well.

      It's easy to start using standard categories in your translations — just set the value to "tech" or "speech" for the "category" parameter of your translation method if you are using the API, or in the Category ID box in any of our supported products, such as the Document Translator. The default value "general", can be omitted — just select your new standard category to begin receiving your customized translations.

      In addition to standard categories, we also developed a "social media" filter that we can enable server-side upon demand. This Client ID level filter has been developed to convert texts and instant messages to proper English to improve translations quality. For instance, once passed through the filter, "R u here?" would become "Are you here?" — which will obviously translate much better than the original. Please note that, for now, only an English texting filter exists.

    2. New: Upload a Custom Dictionary

      You can customize your translations further with dictionaries. Dictionaries allow you to make your own foreign language word lists so that the terminology that is unique to your business or industry will translate just the way you want. For instance, if you have a product name that you want translated in a certain way in French, (or not translated at all, if it's a brand name) just add the product name and the corresponding French translation to your Hub dictionary. Every time you use the Microsoft Translator API with the custom category ID obtained from the Translator Hub, you will get your customized translation. To get your translations up and running, all you need to do is upload a simple Excel spreadsheet with your word list to the Translator Hub website and train the system. You can start with as little as one dictionary entry. The custom category you create with your dictionary can be built on top of the general or the standard (speech or tech) categories, and remains valid even when you customize your system with one of the following options.

    3. New: Train a System with 1,000 - 5,000 Parallel Sentences

      The third level of customization is to add pre-translated content to your custom category. Today, we are introducing the ability to train a system with as few as 1,000 parallel sentences (pre-translated sentences in the original and target language). By training a system with parallel sentences, you can go beyond just a simple list of translated words and phrases. Instead the Hub tunes all of its internal parameters to produce translations that are similar to the test sentences you provided.

      By providing the Hub with at least 1,000 parallel sentences, you can help the Hub choose translations that match your organization's terminology and tone better than the standard categories. If you have created content in another language, such as webpages or documentation, you can use it to improve your translations. Obviously the more sentences you have, the better the translations. You can use this customization mechanism alone or in combination with a custom dictionary.</>

    4. Train a system with more than 5,000 Parallel Sentences

      As was possible since the Hub launched, but now starting with only 5,000 sentences rather than 10,000 previously, you can use any amount of parallel sentences above 5,000 to customize your translations. With more than 5,000 parallel sentence you can begin to create a system that is learning new terms and phrases in the right context and tone of your business. This leads to a better, more customized translation. Add a dictionary for even better results if you have a corpus of less than 50,000 parallel sentences.

      If you have more than 50,000 parallel sentences, you will be able to build a system that can give fully customized results. At this level, the machine has learned your terminology in context through parallel sentences, so the dictionary will be less helpful, and can be reduced to the new terms as you develop new topics in your source content.

    With more than 50,000 parallel sentences, ideally in the 100s of thousands of sentences, the Hub enables you to create brand new language systems. Many of the Microsoft Translator supported languages were developed by Community Partners including the languages Hmong Daw, Yucatec Maya, Queretaro Otomi, Welsh, and Kiswahili.

    Once you have trained and deployed your new customized system, it is available to use in all category ID-enabled Microsoft Translator products, such as the on premise version of SharePoint, the Translator Web Widget, Office apps for PowerPoint and Word, the Document Translator, and the Multilingual App Toolkit, and many translation memory tools from our partners. The Hub can help improve translation quality for a wide variety of scenarios such as web localization, customer support, and internal communications, whether online or in apps.

    After your translated content is published, you can engage your community of users to refine the translation by using the Collaborative Translation Framework (CTF). CTF allows you to use human translation to edit the output of the translated content, or to manage crowd sourced edits to your content so that you can refine it over time. The Hub can import these human corrections easily, so you can incorporate them in training a better customized translation system.

    To start using the Translator Hub to customize your system, simply visit www.microsoft.com/translator/hub.aspx, and register a workspace. You can invite as many other people as you like into your workspace to collaborate on improving your translation system. When you are ready to deploy a custom system, you will need to sign up for an account with Microsoft Translator. You can register for a free 2 million character per month subscription to get you started. After you have registered, you can go to the Translator Hub website to start customizing!



    Learn More:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Adobe Experience Manager Integrates Translator to Offer Web-Based Automatic Translation

    • 0 Comments

    To keep up with the constant need for fresh content and to create great customer experiences, multinational companies are turning to the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to help manage and optimize web content, digital experiences, digital assets, online communities, mobile applications, and forms in order to build their brand, drive demand, and expand their markets. Globalization and the explosion of digital content has accelerated the need to offer content in multiple languages, but human translation services remain expensive and time-consuming. Adobe needed to provide an easy way for digital marketers using AEM to translate multinational sites and international user communities using automatic translation.

    Given the scale at which AEM operates, Adobe needed an automatic translation service that not only provided reliable translations, but could also perform at a massive scale. "Community and social collaboration sites generate a tremendous volume of user-generated content," says Christine Duran, Senior Manager in the Multilingual Solutions Team at Adobe. "In order to build a translation system to serve those needs, you need access to lots of data." Microsoft Translator is powered by machine learning translation technology, and is able to perform billions of translations daily while keeping customer data private.

    To integrate the Microsoft Translator API, the Adobe team first had to build the Adobe Translation Framework in their AEM platform to enable the two technologies to connect. "The Translator API is very robust, so we knew from a development point of view that we could write a robust integration," says Duran. "We worked closely with the Microsoft team as we did that."

    Adobe can now offer AEM users the ability to translate their content into more than 50 languages and extend their reach around the world. AEM 6.0 and above ships with a pre-configured Translator connector and a free trial license of 2 million characters per month, enabling users to start translating with minimal effort. AEM customers can also use the Translator Hub to build, train, and deploy translation systems that are customized specifically to their industry and organization's terminology and needs. With the integration of AEM and Microsoft Translator, global businesses can scale the reach and impact of their organizations across languages that covers 95 percent of the world's GDP.

    To learn more about AEM's integration of Microsoft Translator, read the full case study.


    Learn More:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Skype Translator Available to all Skype for Windows Users

    • 0 Comments

    It's been just a little over a year since its initial launch in December 2014, Skype Translator is now available to all Skype for Windows desktop users. The app, powered by Microsoft Translator, lets users have translated voice-to-voice conversations in 7 different languages: Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. They can also IM in over 50 languages using text-to-text translation.

    To start using Skype Translator today, Skype for Windows customers can click on the globe in the upper right hand corner of the app seen here.

    If your Skype for Windows app does not have a globe, ensure you have downloaded the latest version of the app.

    If you have stories about Skype Translator that you would like to share, just tag them with the hashtag #SkypeTranslator on social media. You can also share stories and feedback on Skype Community. For support with Skype Translator on the Skype for Windows app, please visit Skype Support..

    Learn more on the official Skype blog.


    Microsoft Translator Supported Apps:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator’s Look Back at 2015

    • 0 Comments

    It's been a great year at Microsoft Translator. We're grateful to have been able to offer so many new ways to break down the language barriers that separate people. In addition to launching new languages, we've also introduced a host of new apps to help people communicate whenever and wherever they need instant translation. Here are some of our highlights from the last year.

    • New languages for text translation
      This year we launched Queretaro Otomi, Yucatec Maya, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Kiswahili. The first of these, Queretaro Otomi and Yucatec Maya, are endangered languages, and the language systems were developed in conjunction with community partners using the Microsoft Translator Hub to help preserve and safeguard these languages for generations to come.
    • New languages for conversation translation
      In addition to our text translation languages, we also launched conversation translation for Chinese Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese. Unlike voice recognition languages which are generally suitable just for short utterances, conversation language systems are designed specifically for normal conversations. In 2015, we introduced 5 new languages which are available in Skype Translator, and our apps for iOS and Android phones and watches.
    • Demonstrated how Skype Translator can be used to help the hard of hearing
      Using speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies, Skype Translator has proved to not only bridge the language gap, but the accessibility gap as well. Our team has found that Skype Translator can be a new and powerful communication tool for the deaf and hard of hearing.
    • Made Skype Translator public, and then integrated it into Skype for Windows desktop
      When it was first launched in late 2015, the Skype Translator Preview app was only available to a select number of users. In 2015, we made the app available to everyone, and later integrated it into the standard Skype for Windows desktop app.
    • Established the Microsoft Translator Partner Alliance Program
      Microsoft Translator has always relied on strong partnerships to drive innovation and meet customer needs. Our partners generally fall into 4 broad categories: language service providers, translation memory application vendors, systems integrators, or software and cloud services vendors. Become a partner or learn more about the program and its benefits.
    • Introduced the Document Translator and other apps on GitHub to help people learn how to make their own translation apps
      Curious how you can add translation to your app or website? Our open source code on GitHub, combined with developer information on MSDN should give you everything you need to know to get started. We have several demonstrator apps in different languages, including the Document Translator.
    • Launched apps for Apple Watch and iPhone, and Android Wear and Android Phone
      This year we launched apps for Apple Watch and iPhone, as well as Android Wear and Android Phone. See a full list of Translator apps for watches, phones, tablets, and PCs.
    • Added the new conversations feature to our apps on iOS and Android
      Launched in late 2015, we introduced the new conversation feature for iOS and Android to let you translate face to face conversations in a more natural way by simultaneously using your smartwatch and phone. The feature uses the same Microsoft Translator speech translation engine that powers Skype Translator that is optimized for translating full conversations, not just short sentences. If you don't have a phone, that's no problem-- you can still use the feature with just your phone.
    • Integrated native translation into Cortana
      Windows 10 users can get instant translations from Cortana through voice and text queries. For instance, just ask Cortana, "Hey Cortana, translate where is the nearest taxi stand in French" and Cortana will provide you with a translation.
    • Introduced the universal Windows 10 app
      In addition to Translator's availability in Cortana, you can also download the new Windows 10 app which gives you text, voice, and picture translations; modifies Chinese translations to Pinyin; provides text-to-speech for translations; and supports offline translation with free downloadable language packs for when you are not connected to the web. The app works on all Windows 10 devices, from PC to Phone and beyond.


    Thanks for a fantastic year, and we're excited for everything that's coming up in 2016.


    Learn More:

Page 1 of 25 (125 items) 12345»