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  • 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

    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

    Machine Translation group at Microsoft Research

    • 0 Comments

    Microsoft Research’s Machine Translation (MSR-MT) group has been among the leading research organizations in the machine translation space for over 8 years, and some of the foundational work in natural language processing at MSR began over 16 years ago. The team’s approach to machine translation integrates linguistic features with state-of-the-art statistical machine translation algorithms. The team’s focus has always been on automatically acquiring translation knowledge from bilingual corpora, i.e., parallel data consisting of original source language sentences and their corresponding translations by human translators. About 3 years ago, the team’s focus shifted from a purely rule-based approach to this task toward a hybrid approach that includes extensive statistical processing, allowing for greater scalability across domains and into new languages.

    Microsoft’s Machine Translation technology was first developed for in-house localization purposes, to allow our Customer Support organization to publish technical support documents with a frequency and language breadth that would have been prohibitively expensive using human translators.  With all of Microsoft’s previously human-translated documents and localized software at its disposal, the MT team was able automatically to train its statistical MT engine to achieve quite good quality in the technical domain.  This technology was extended to support the Windows localization team, the Developer Division, MSDN, and several other groups within Microsoft. It has also allowed Microsoft to reach many more customers than would have ever been possible using human translation alone.

    After focusing on Microsoft’s own translation needs, the team began to build a scalable web service that would allow it to provide translation services to the general public, as a standalone tool on the web, and as a feature within other products.  Given that the Microsoft MT engine has been trained most heavily on technical data, it has not yet been tuned for translating text in other subject domains.  However, we hope to continue improving the quality and breadth of the engine. We look forward to sharing our developments with you over the coming months on this blog.

    - Heather

    Heather Thorne is the Director of Business Strategy at the Microsoft Research Machine Translation group
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Unveiling Breakthroughs in Real-Time Translation with Skype Translator

    • 4 Comments

    Earlier this evening Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., in  talk during the Code Conference, unveiled an early look at the Skype Translator app. This app represents a breakthrough in language translation jointly developed by Microsoft researchers and Skype engineers, bridging geographic and language barriers through the use of real-time speech-to-speech translation. The functionality combines Skype voice and instant messaging, Microsoft Translator and machine-learning based technologies for speech recognition that are used in Windows and Windows Phone Translation applications today.

    During Nadella’s conversation with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg of the Re/code tech website relating to a new era of personal computing, he asked Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Lync and Skype, to join him on stage. While on stage, Pall demonstrated for the first time publicly the Skype Translator app, with Pall conversing in English with German-speaking Microsoft employee Diana Heinrichs.

    Watch the Demo

    Speech has been a natural evolution of the translation work that Microsoft has been delivering to consumers and businesses across a broad number of products and solutions. The work represents over a decade of work within Microsoft Research that has become a reality through a series of remarkable research advances in translation, speech recognition, and language processing. This demonstration is the next step in delivering the real time speech translation experience to users that Rick Rashid, then the worldwide head of Microsoft Research, demonstrated a year and a half ago.

    The Skype Translator app will available first on Windows 8 later this year as a limited beta.

    It has been an exciting day as we unveil this remarkable technology advancement that brings people one step closer to removing barriers of communication regardless of language or location!

    Learn More about Skype Translator

  • 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

     

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