Today Microsoft celebrates International Mother Language Day (IMLD) alongside UNESCO, with the goal to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism across the world.
Advancements in technology to support and preserve languages create greater awareness of the linguistic and cultural traditions celebrated throughout the world, which in turn promote understanding, tolerance and dialogue. Helping to enable business, communities, and consumers to communicate and collaborate across language barriers through technology innovation is a core focus for the Microsoft Translator team.
As part of that focus, Microsoft Translator is announcing Welsh as a new supported language in partnership with the National Assembly for Wales and leveraging the Microsoft Translator Hub. The Welsh language today becomes the latest to join a growing list of languages to benefit from translation services provided by Microsoft Translator.
In 2012, the National Assembly passed the Official Language Act into law, which placed a statutory duty on the Assembly Commission to treat both languages on the basis of equality.
The Assembly’s Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler, said: “One of my key roles is to ensure that all the people of Wales are able to engage with the Assembly’s work, whether through the Welsh or English language. That’s why we have been working with Microsoft to create an automatic language translation system to help the Assembly to meet our own language goals.”
Machine translation is a key part of the Assembly’s commitment to delivering a fully bilingual institution where businesses and services can be delivered through the Welsh and English languages. Users can now translate to and from Welsh using the breadth of Microsoft products including: Office, Bing Translator as well as in the Bing Translator applications for Windows Phone and Windows.
In addition to backend service updates to the Microsoft Translator API, new updates have been released for Windows and Windows Phone Translator apps which include:
To further commemorate IMLD, the Microsoft Local Language Program, a part of Microsoft YouthSpark, announced the Language Toolbox, an additional resource to the Microsoft Language Portal (LLP), serving as a consolidated inventory of free language resources and tools provided by Microsoft to help bridge the gap between language and technology. You can read more about this new resource here.
At Microsoft, we are excited that the continued advancements of machine translation features and functionality are enabling users to achieve a shared understanding and make the world a little smaller every day.
To Learn More
Translating a website can be tricky – especially if it is not one that you built. A year back at MIX, we helped webmasters and developers take a step towards delivering a seamless, well integrated translation experience using the translator widget and the APIs. Yet, there are still many sites out there that users still need to translate without the help of such technology. Thus the continued popularity of our webpage translator, and the bi-lingual viewer feature that it pioneered.
Some of you might have noticed a significant improvement in how the webpage translator handles certain web pages that it had not done so well in the past. A couple of weeks ago, we released an updated version of the webpage translator that improves site compatibility and delivers better performance. If you have not tried it recently, we urge you to try any sites that you had not been able to get webpage translators to translate on this new release. As always, if you do find problems please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Speaking of MIX, keep an eye on MIX 2010 this year. In addition to the all the buzz around Windows Phone, don’t miss out on this session. :-)
Over the summer, Michelle Agcamaran, Priya Ganesan, and Kat Zhou—spent the summer as High School Interns at Microsoft Research Redmond working with mentor Alex Cheng, Translator Software Design Engineer. Their work with the Translator team was focused on building an app to showcase the capabilities of Translator and our partners in a new and interesting way. After three months of work we are proud to unveil the fruits of our intern’slabor: Song Translator.
The song translation app allows users to upload their favorite songs with lyrics, add timestamps to the lyrics, then translate and record the song in another language. Song Translator leverages the Translator Control while also leveraging other key Microsoft technologies and features including: Windows 8, Visual Studio, Background Task for live tiles, and Windows Azure Cloud Storage, as well as pitch synthesis from SonicAPI.
Built in Visual Studio 2012 with C# and XAML using the Windows 8 Store App template, the app calls the Translator API to process the translations into over 40 of the Translator supported languages.
Watch the Song Translator Demo from Michelle, Priya, and Kat
How to Use the Song Translator
Check out the walk through guides written by our Interns to learn more.
To learn more about our talented group of summer interns and their experience, make sure to check out the Microsoft Research blog post.
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:
The full source code for the app is available here:
The Bing Translator app for Windows is available for download today. Designed from the ground up for Windows devices, the app places powerful translation technology at your fingertips by instantly translating content in more than 40 languages, at home, work or on-the-go. Whether utilizing your PC’s camera to deliver “augmented reality” translation, typing in a quick sentence or two, working offline when you are not connected or harnessing unique features of Windows to translate content from many other Windows apps, Bing Translator is a must have application for all your Windows devices.
You can now download the free app from the Windows store here.
Check out the app in action in the following video:
<p><br /></p><p> </p><p> browse?mkt=en us&vid=a2c58116 bf98 4b1f 9225 da56e52607fd&from=sharepermalink&src=v5:share:sharepermalink:</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>The Bing Translator app is based on years of Microsoft Research’s investments in advancing machine learning – a way to find patterns that humans can’t see, helping people interpret the words and worlds around them.</p><p>Translating content whether browsed, typed or scanned is nearly instantaneous. Just point your device’s camera at printed text and watch as the translation is automatically overlaid over the video stream - creating subtitles for everyday life. You can also type to translate with your keyboard and hear translations spoken with a native speaker's accent.</p><p> <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/8787.cameracapture.png" data-mce-href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/8787.cameracapture.png"><img src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/8787.cameracapture.png" alt="" border="0" data-mce-src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/8787.cameracapture.png" /></a></p><p>The Translator app is the perfect companion when traveling. The app can help overcome language barriers, even when there’s no internet connection. Save on expensive data plans when traveling with offline language packs for select languages so you can travel with confidence, even in the most remote locations. More language packs coming soon.</p><p> <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/0726.Offline-Downloads.png" data-mce-href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/0726.Offline-Downloads.png"><img src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/0726.Offline-Downloads.png" alt="" border="0" data-mce-src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/0726.Offline-Downloads.png" /></a></p><p>The Share Charm lets you quickly translate highlighted text in any Windows 8 app, with Snap View you can multi-task while browsing, chatting or more by snapping Bing Translator to the right or left of your screen. With this unique feature, powerful translation technology is just a swipe away in Windows 8 no matter where you are – at your desk or on the go.</p><p> <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/4505.SharetoTranslatorEnglish.png" data-mce-href="http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/4505.SharetoTranslatorEnglish.png"><img src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/4505.SharetoTranslatorEnglish.png" alt="" border="0" data-mce-src="http://blogs.msdn.com/resized-image.ashx/__size/550x0/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-91-16/4505.SharetoTranslatorEnglish.png" /></a></p><p>For more about the app, check out the <a href="http://www.bing.com/translator/windows" data-mce-href="http://www.bing.com/translator/windows">Translator for Windows</a> product page, and check back for future developments and updates.</p><p>We hope that this app becomes your window to the world, no matter where you are.</p><p>- Vikram Dendi,<br />Director of Product Management, <br />Microsoft/Bing Translator – Microsoft Research</p>
The Bing Translator app is based on years of Microsoft Research’s investments in advancing machine learning – a way to find patterns that humans can’t see, helping people interpret the words and worlds around them.
Translating content whether browsed, typed or scanned is nearly instantaneous. Just point your device’s camera at printed text and watch as the translation is automatically overlaid over the video stream - creating subtitles for everyday life. You can also type to translate with your keyboard and hear translations spoken with a native speaker's accent. The Translator app is the perfect companion when traveling. The app can help overcome language barriers, even when there’s no internet connection. Save on expensive data plans when traveling with offline language packs for select languages so you can travel with confidence, even in the most remote locations. More language packs coming soon.
The Share Charm lets you quickly translate highlighted text in any Windows 8 app, with Snap View you can multi-task while browsing, chatting or more by snapping Bing Translator to the right or left of your screen. With this unique feature, powerful translation technology is just a swipe away in Windows 8 no matter where you are – at your desk or on the go.
We hope that this app becomes your window to the world, no matter where you are!
- Vikram Dendi,Director of Product Management, Microsoft/Bing Translator – Microsoft Research