Microsoft Translator Team Blog

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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    New Auto-refill Feature in Windows Azure Marketplace


    An easy way to subscribe to the Translator API is through the Windows Azure Marketplace , as evidenced by the thousands of developers subscribing to the service through the marketplace. The team just added an often asked for feature - Auto-refill. This feature addresses a key request from many Translator API customers who wanted to (a) more tightly control their monthly pre-committed subscription level and (b) not run out of volume in case the usage exceeds the forecast level.

    Here is what the marketplace team has to say about the new feature: 

    The Auto-refill option can be enabled on any paid subscription, giving more options to subscribers of the Microsoft Translator API ensure effective use of their subscription volumes. Auto-refill provides the ability to ensure that you, or anyone using your subscription, do not reach your usage limit before the end of your subscription period, and thus avoid the resultant loss of service. Auto-refill does this by cancelling your current Translator subscription and creating a new subscription before you reach your usage limit. All this happens seamlessly, without interrupting the service.

    How Does it Work?

    You subscription gives you a certain allotment of transactions, users, characters or other discrete limits (characters - for translator). Once you enable Auto-refill on a particular subscription, Windows Azure Marketplace monitors your character balance for the current subscription period. If your balance reaches 10% or less of your subscription limit, and you have not used up your maximum number of Auto-refills in the past 30 days (or have chosen unlimited Auto-refills), Windows Azure Marketplace re-subscribes you to, and charges you the then-effective subscription rate for, a new subscription, thereby giving you  new subscription period and new character balance. In addition, any characters remaining immediately before Auto-refill occurred are carried over to your new subscription so that you don’t lose anything you already paid for.

    Who Can Benefit From Auto-refill?

    Scenario 1 - Manage Anticipated Spikes in Volume

    If you are running a promotional campaign for your application you might see higher than expected traffic during the promotion. If you don't know what your target reach may be and want to ensure no interruption in service, you could select the "Unlimited" refill option during the course of the promotion. This will ensure that any unanticipated spikes are supported. In the month following the promotion, you can then modify your subscription and auto-refill needs accordingly. 

    Scenario 2 - Manage Your Costs

    The cyclical nature of projects may require higher or lower volumes in given months. Some months your usage may require only 4M characters and in others your usage may increase to 32M characters. With the auto-refill feature you can set your monthly volume to 4M with an auto-refill option of 8 refills.By leveraging the auto-refill feature, you are able to better manage your subscription to your lowest anticipated volumes / costs and then increase your volumes as needed. Allowing you to minimize time spent monitoring your usage and save costs over a larger subscription every month.   

    Step-by-Step to Enable Auto-Refill for Microsoft Translator

    Step 1: Select “Enable Auto Refill”


    Step 2: Enter the Number of refills, agree to the terms and conditions, and click “Submit”


    Step 3: Return to summary where uou should now see your available refills and option to “Edit Auto Refill”


    Click here to learn more about the Auto-refill feature and here to learn more about other release features for Windows Azure Marketplace.


  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Skype Translator Preview Releasing Support for Two New Languages and Updated Client Application


    Today, we are releasing updates to Skype Translator Preview including two new languages, Chinese and Italian. The updated app also has new features to help make speech to speech translation even easier such as continuous speech recognition and automatic volume control.

    Here is a full list of updates to the new and improved Skype Translator Preview:

    • Two new languages: Chinese Mandarin and Italian
      Skype Translator now speaks Chinese and Italian, in addition to Spanish and English.

    • Text to speech translation
      Hear the instant messages of your partner, translated or not. This is especially useful in noisy places where you can't talk.

    • Continuous recognition
      See the recognized text as you are speaking. No need to wait for a pause anymore.

    • Automatic volume control
      Your partner can speak while the translation is still going on. You will hear the translation at full volume, and your partner at a lower volume, so that you can still follow the translation. This helps to create a more fluent and dynamic conversation.

    • Mute option for translated voice
      If you would rather just read the transcript, and use Skype Translator as a real-time subtitling tool, there is now an option to easily turn the translated audio on or off, depending on your preference.

    • Deep Neural Networks in translation
      The technique of applying deep neural networks to speech recognition has drastically improved the recognition quality. We have applied this technique to translation as well.

    Read more about these updates on the Skype blog, and be sure to sign up at try out the new features yourself at

    To learn more about the work the Microsoft Research Asia team did behind the scenes to help support Chinese in this release, check out this video.

    Learn More about Skype Translator:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Welcome to the Machine Translation team blog!


    Welcome to our blog! We are very excited to bring to you news and insights into work (and fun) at the Machine Translation (MT) Group within Microsoft Research. Hello World! We have great mix of researchers, developers, testers, program managers, linguists, designers and product managers working on MT here, and we are pleased to launch this blog as a way to connect with customers, partners and other friends of MT. We hope this will provide greater insight into the work we do and who we are, and we are very excited to be talking to you.

    Machine Translation (MT), to those that don’t know it, is exactly as it sounds: using a “machine” (in most cases computer software) to translate text from one human language to another. There have been many different approaches developed in this area and results have been improving over time. You will hear from members of the team that have been working on this technology and hear about how the research breakthroughs are coming to a desktop near you. We will be introducing you to the team building the new Microsoft Translator and you will get some background on the technology used for the site.

    RSS and Atom feeds are available for all posts or specific categories on this blog. For now anonymous blog comments are under moderation – I am hopeful that as long as spam levels remain low we can keep it that way.

    Once again, thank you for visiting the blog! Cheers!

    - Vikram

    Vikram Dendi works at Microsoft Research as Senior Product Manager for the Machine Translation (MSR-MT) group.
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Building Windows 8 Store Apps Using Microsoft Translator


    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:


  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Summer Interns Singing a Happy Tune with Song Translator App


    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’s
    labor: 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


    Click here to play this video

     How to Use the Song Translator

    1. Download the app
    2. Unzip the project
    3. Install the Nuget package for the Mobile Service
    4. Open the configurations file and input credentials

    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.


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