Microsoft Translator Team Blog

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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    New Blogger on the block – Please welcome Lane!

    • 3 Comments

    I wanted to post a quick note welcoming Lane, who will be bringing you updates (more regularly than before) about what’s new and exciting in our team. Welcome Lane!

    On that note, Lane and Andrea were at the MSR Silicon Valley Road Show event showing off our products and technology. Robert Scoble from Fastcompany has a video:

     

    While still on the topic of videos – some of you might have missed news coverage from CNET News a little while back. We are covered in the last one and half minutes of this video.

     

    -Vikram

    Vikram works on Incubation Strategy for Microsoft Research Machine Translation team
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Hello from MSR-MT's new blogger!

    • 3 Comments

    Thanks for the intro, Vikram!  I'm the new marketing communications manager for the Machine Translation team in MSR, and I'm really excited to be a part of the team!  I'm looking forward to sharing some of the great new improvements to the service that the team is working on, as well as hearing comments from the readers of this blog.  

    A little background on me: I'm a former techie who's been in the marketing world for the past 4 years (specifically working with Microsoft's OEM partners).  Before that I was in grad school for Computer Science at the University of Florida.  I'm happy to be working closely with developers again, especially on such a cool product. 

    As Vikram mentioned, I'm going to start blogging more regularly on behalf of the team.  Expect monthly posts, as well as one-off posts as new things come up that I want to share with you. 

    We have a lot of catching up to do in terms of features that have gone live in the past few months, so expect a busy week of blogging!  Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

    -Lane

     

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Congratulations to the MSR-MT researchers!

    • 3 Comments

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published its 2008 Machine Translation Evaluation Results.  From their website:

    The NIST 2008 Machine Translation Evaluation (MT-08) is part of an ongoing series of evaluations of human language translation technology. NIST conducts these evaluations in order to support machine translation (MT) research and help advance the state-of-the-art in machine translation technology. These evaluations provide an important contribution to the direction of research efforts and the calibration of technical capabilities. The evaluation was administered as outlined in the official MT-08 evaluation plan.

    Check out our research team's results in Chinese to English - very impressive.  Congratulations, guys!  Very well-deserved. 

    The MSR-MT team is looking to build on this exciting progress and bring this technology to you. Stay tuned!  

    Lane

    (*edit to correct link - thanks for pointing it out!)

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Building Windows 8 Store Apps Using Microsoft Translator

    • 2 Comments

    The Microsoft Translator API is a hosted API that allows you to add machine translation to your app. It fully supports Windows Store Apps, so if you want to add localization to these apps, doing so is as easy as subscribing to and using the API. We’ve built out step-by-step instructions and assets that demonstrates how to do this this, showing a C#/XAML based app, built for the Windows 8 Store, which uses the MVVM design pattern.

    Getting Started Guides and Assets:

    Build a Twitter App with Translations

    Want to know what people are saying about the latest product release or global news event across the world in 40+ languages? The Twitter app allows you to search for tweets that match a search term, and when those tweets are in a non-English language, it will translate them for you directly over the top of the existing text. We’ve also made the full code for the application available for you to download. The links above with provide you with the walkthroughs and assets to get started. 

    View of Twitter App with Translations:

     

    Close-up of one of the tweets, showing the translation:

    clip_image003

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Simplicity is Possible in a Multi-Lingual, Omni Channel Support World

    • 2 Comments
    The following is a guest post by the Microsoft Translator Partner, Lionbridge Technologies, who developed GeoFluent as a solution to address the challenge of real-time translation of user generated content leveraging the Microsoft Translator automatic translation service and customization capabilities of the Translator Hub.

    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:

    • How does the solution integrate into existing software/workflows
    • The preservation of brand/product terms.
    • How to maximize translation quality through translation engine customization and agent/moderator training?
    • Does the solution offer adequate safeguards for the handling of PII.


    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.

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