Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

News and Views from the Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Team in Microsoft Research.

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official 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 (and Bing Translator) Official 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 (and Bing Translator) Official 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:

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  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Discover How to Build a Windows Phone 8 App with Microsoft Translator and Speech Synthesis

    • 1 Comments

    Windows Phone 8 introduces a host of new features, including speech synthesis. This is the perfect fit for Microsoft Translator and opens up exciting opportunities for developers as showcased in our November 12 blog post

    In the latest in our series of walkthroughs, we step you through everything you need to do to build a simple translation app that takes your text and translates it into a variety of different languages using the free Microsoft Translator APIs. It then uses the native speech synthesis in Windows 8 to ‘read out’ the translation with the correct pronunciation.

    The walkthrough takes you from soup to nuts in signing up for the free service, getting your credentials, installing and configuring the tools, designing, developing and testing your application.

    Check it out at:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/translation/p/windowsphone8.aspx

    The full source code for the app is available here:

    http://translator.blob.core.windows.net/msdnwalkthroughs/Transl8.zip

    Screenshot:

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Announcing the Microsoft Translator Hub for commercial use – a comprehensive solution for custom translation quality

    • 1 Comments

    Delivering free, easy-to-use tools to enable you and your community to collaboratively customize translations based on your content and scenarios.

    As machine translation researchers, we are well aware of the challenges in applying brute force computing power to solve translation problems. We know that no matter how much processing power you throw at translation, it is still a stretch to get an error-free, contextually accurate translation every time. As a partner-focused translation services team, we have been on the forefront of delivering better ways to tailor translations to fit the specific content being translated. Over two years ago, we took a step in the direction of helping users customize translations being delivered through our Microsoft Translator Collaborative Translation Framework. As an integral part of the Microsoft Translator API, these technologies allowed users to edit and override the machine generated translations after they were delivered, and made them available for reuse via the API.

    Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, we are announcing the commercial availability of the Microsoft Translator Hub, an innovative tool that gives partners and communities unprecedented control over how the translation engine translates their content -- before the translations are delivered. Using the Hub, users can improve and optimize the translation quality for a specific area of terminology and style.

    The Translator Hub is a free extension of the popular Microsoft Translator service, and enables businesses to combine existing translated documents with the power of Microsoft Translator’s big data backend to easily build a custom translation system, whose quality is controlled by the business. Custom systems built and deployed are seamlessly accessible via the standard Microsoft Translator API, and can be built into any scenario or workflow.

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    While the technology behind the translation and customization services is very powerful, our goal was to deliver the Hub as a simple to use private web portal that makes it easy for users to get started quickly. We achieved this by enabling users to build custom machine translation systems in four simple steps.

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    The users of the Hub can upload parallel (same document in two languages) and monolingual (single language) documents in a variety of formats, and build custom translation models in a private workspace using Microsoft Translator’s machine learning based training systems. The Hub provides methods and a simple user interface for collaborating and improving the translation system with reviewers, before deploying to the Microsoft Translator runtime infrastructure. The owner of the customized system can keep the system private, share it with other individuals, companies, or make it available publicly.

    In addition the same collaborative translation functionality is integrated into the Microsoft Translator API enabling continuous improvement of the customized translation system through ongoing community engagement and feedback.

    Learn more about this great tool on the Microsoft Translator web site, where you can also see how some of our early partners, like Lionbridge and PLYmedia, have leveraged the Translator Hub to power innovative business solutions and scenarios. You can also request an invite to the Hub directly from the Translator Hub portal.

    We are confident that this technology will change the conversation about the quality of machine translation. Whether you are looking to stretch your localization budget, communicate with your global customers, or better understand your increasingly multilingual business data, Microsoft Translator Hub and the Translator API are worth considering as part of your workflow. By bringing together your pre-existing translated data with Microsoft’s big data translation models, the Hub opens up new cross-language possibilities for your business.

    We look forward to working with you. If you are attending WPC 2012, do attend the Microsoft Translator session (2 PM, Wednesday July 11) or visit our innovation theatre presentations in the Solutions Innovation Center to learn more (search for “microsoft translator”).

    - Vikram Dendi
    Director, Product Management
    Microsoft/Bing Translator

    In partnership with Microsoft Research Connections, we also had the privilege of showcasing another aspect of the Microsoft Translator Hub in helping preserve and revitalize languages online in February 2012. Members of the Hmong community were among the first users of the Translator Hub and were able to build a machine translation system for the Hmong Daw language from scratch. The community chose to make this language available broadly via the public translation API and Bing Translator on International Mother Language Day, helping the worldwide Hmong community benefit from the great work of these passionate volunteers. Many other communities from around the world are now using the Translator Hub to build translation systems for their languages. You can watch some of these inspiring stories here and learn more about the research behind the Microsoft Translator Hub on the Inside Microsoft Research blog.

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