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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Windows Live Messenger translation bot now available!

    • 297 Comments

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    The Microsoft Translator team is excited to announce the new translation bot for Windows Live Messenger! This Messenger bot does translations for you. Just add mtbot@hotmail.com to your contacts and start chatting. You can have one-on-one conversations with the bot, or you can invite a friend and chat in different languages with the bot translating for you.  As usual, remember that machine translation isn’t perfect – slang especially will give the engine trouble.

    You can also access Windows Live Messenger on your smartphone to use the bot to translate simple sentences while you’re traveling to other countries!

    The translator bot is localized into all of the languages for which we have translation support on www.microsofttranslator.com:

    The translator Bot supports the following translation languages (the latest list of languages can be found here): 

        • Arabic
        • Bulgarian
        • Chinese Simplified
        • Chinese Traditional
        • Czech
        • Danish
        • Dutch
        • English
        • Haitian Creole
        • Finnish
        • French
        • German
        • Greek
        • Hebrew
        • Italian
        • Japanese
        • Korean
        • Polish
        • Portuguese
        • Russian
        • Spanish
        • Swedish
        • Thai

    More languages will be rolled out over the next several months.  Start using the bot and let us know your feedback!

    FYI - at any time while you’re chatting with the bot, just type “TBot ?” to get a list of commands that the bot understands:

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    Update (1/25/2010): Updated language list and links.

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Download the Microsoft Translator installer for Microsoft Office

    • 200 Comments
    Now you can translate your Microsoft Office documents with Microsoft Translator – right within Office! You can translate words, phrases, or even your entire document, through the Research task pane. We blogged about setting this up manually for Office 2007 or Office 2003 previously - now it's really easy!

     

    This works for both Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007. The current default in Microsoft Office is WorldLingo – this installer will update your task pane to use Microsoft Translator as the default translator for the languages we provide.

     

    Download the installer now and let us know what you think over in the Forum!
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

    • 88 Comments

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 mtcont@microsoft.com 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

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Twenty is a nice round number – say ยินดีต้อนรับ (welcome) to our newest release!

    • 67 Comments

    In my last update I had asked about what languages you wanted Microsoft Translator service to support. Thank you for taking the time to respond. We are pleased to announce that last week we added Czech (CSY), Danish (DAN), Greek (ELL), Swedish (SVE) and Thai (THA), taking our language count to a nice round 20. image

    Here is the complete list as of today: image

    • ARA – Arabic
    • CHS - Chinese Simplified
    • CHT - Chinese Traditional
    • NLD - Dutch
    • ENU - English
    • FRA - French
    • DEU - German
    • HEB - Hebrew
    • ITA - Italian
    • JPN - Japanese
    • KOR - Korean
    • PLK - Polish
    • PTB - Portuguese
    • RUS - Russian
    • ESN - Spanish
    • CSY - Czech
    • DAN - Danish
    • ELL - Greek
    • SVE - Swedish
    • THA - Thai

    You will be able to translate between these languages in all Microsoft Translator powered services including Bing Translator, Internet Explorer Accelerator, Office, Widget as well as in our APIs. Feel free to send in your feedback on the new languages via the forum. We do keenly follow your recommendations and requests as we prioritize new languages – so please do keep them coming in the comments section!

    -Vikram Dendi

    Microsoft Translator

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Announcing the Microsoft Translator web page widget

    • 56 Comments

    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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