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
Say ‘Hello World!’ in multiple languages with the new speech-to-speech feature for the Bing Translator app for Windows. The most recent update for the Translator app for Windows now delivers the same speech-to-speech functionality that Bing Translator app for Windows Phone 8 users already love.
Now users can leverage the power of speech-to-speech translations from any Windows device. Simply speak into your device by using the microphone feature to place orders or ask for directions, and hear the translated words in a native speaker's accent.
In addition to speech input, this new release of the Translator app now offers users the option to use the camera feature in both portrait and landscape mode. Simply point your camera, scan and translate printed language using your tablet or PC to create subtitles for everyday life.
Today, we are also releasing new updates to the Bing Translator app for Windows Phone 8 which include improvements to the speech functionality for better quality and responsiveness of translations, in addition a redesigned user interface for the existing and recently released offline language packs. By downloading offline language packs, you can maintain translation on the go when not connected to the internet and avoid expensive data roaming charges.
You can now download the free app for Windows from the Windows store here and for the Windows Phone from the Windows Phone store here. Existing users who have already downloaded the app, will be able to access the new updates without needing to download it again. Whether on your Windows Phone or any Windows device, the Translator app is the perfect travel companion to help overcome language barriers, even when there’s no internet connection. To learn more about Bing Translator apps, check out the Translator for Windows and the Translator for Windows Phone product pages.
These apps will become your window to the world, no matter where you are.
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.
Today Microsoft celebrates International Translation Day. Promoted by the International Federation of Translators since 1953, the goal of International Translation Day has been to celebrate the worldwide translation community that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalization.
Real-time communication and collaboration technologies from video conferencing to social media have removed the physical barriers of communication and today translation technology is paving the way for removing the barrier of language in the same way. The Translator team within Microsoft Research is committed to helping to enable business, communities, and consumers to be able to communicate and collaborate regardless of language through technology innovation.
In conjunction with International Translation Day we are excited to announce the Translator app in the Office Store available for download later today. The app allows users to take the existing translation features available in Word to the next level. Enhancing built-in features of being able to select text and instantly translate it, users can now leverage the customization capabilities of Translator with the new app. Expanded functionality within the app allows users to utilize Collaborative Translation Framework (CTF) to rate and edit translations. In addition, organizations can utilize the custom translation systems they have built with the Microsoft Translator Hub within office.
Today, we are also releasing new updates to the Bing Translator app for Windows Phone 8 that launched last year. Updates include camera translation support and offline line language packs for Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, and Swedish, camera support for Danish, use of Windows Phone LED light as a lamp in camera mode for low light translations, and the ability to remove history items one at a time. These new updates continue to empower consumers to use the app in their desired form from camera, type, or voice both on-the-go and offline.
In addition, over the last year the Translator team has launched a number of other tools and technologies. Earlier this year in partnership with Bing, we launched the Bing Translator app for Windows allowing users to leverage the unique features of Windows 8 from the Share Charm to Snap Mode to translate within their Windows 8 apps. Recently, the team also launched the next generation with the hugely popular Bing Translator Widget that allows webmasters to easily integrate real time translation into their website to reach a larger global audience, enable CTF, and support customized translation systems using the Hub. Like the Widget, the launch of the Translator control gave developers easy access to robust, cloud-based, automatic translation between more than 40 languages within their apps.
And certainly we cannot overlook the launch of the first intergalactic supported language with the release of Klingon garnering significant buzz across the blogosphere.
The explosive growth of social media and translation features from Microsoft in Facebook, Twitter, and Yammer have allowed users to develop new relationships creating more dynamic and vibrant communities. Users are no longer limited to communication with others in their preferred language, but through the power of real-time machine translation can communicate with anyone around the world regardless of language.
Taking the growth of communication one step further, earlier this year Microsoft Research unveiled a glimpse of what translation may look like in the future. During the 14th annual Computing in the 21st Century Conference, attendees saw a glimpse of where these technologies are taking us and were very excited by the prospect. During the keynote, Rick Rashid delivered his address in English that was instantly translated and delivered to the audience in Chinese. The excitement exploded across the web in response to this demonstration indicating how much everyone wants to experience the future translation has to offer.
It is no secret that the proliferation of digital content on the web, mobile devices, and desktop applications is creating an increasing demand by users to communication and collaborate in multiple languages. We are excited that the continued integration of machine translation features and functionality is enabling users to do just that and are motivated by the challenge of future innovations to come.
To learn more about how the Translator team in partnership with other Microsoft organizations is delivery translation to users worldwide, be sure to check out the other International Translation Day posts from Microsoft Next, Microsoft Research, Bing, Windows and Windows Phone, along with many others. Happy translating!
The Microsoft Translator and Bing Webmaster teams are announcing the new and improved Translator Widget. Built on the Microsoft Translator API the widget is a highly customizable and powerful translation tool you can place on your web page, instantly making the page available in 40+ languages. The redesigned widget provides a look and functionality best suited to today’s modern websites, while maintaining the features and functionality users love.
As part of Bing and Microsoft Research’s commitment to innovation in partnership with Intel, the next generation widget is powering the Tomorrow Project’s Future Powered by Fiction Contest web site. Real time translation by the Translator Widget empowers visitors to the site from across the globe to explore and share their creative vision for a better tomorrow.
For more advanced users, go beyond the basic and leverage the customization capabilities to modify the widget look and feel to best complement your web site. Pick the colors that blend into your site design or the size that best fits into your layout. The widget’s adaptive positioning allows you to better uses real estate for wide layout designs.
Webmasters can also enable the collaborative translation framework (CTF) to harness the power of their user community to improve translations over time. When enabled, PC users simply hover over the text to have the tooltip display "Improve Translation" when CTF is turned on. Touch devices simply click on the translated sentence to display the tool tip in their native language.
Learn more about how you can leverage the widget on your site today, via the getting started guide links included below. If you are using the widget already, or are a webmaster looking to grow your user audience, check out the new widget and begin translating right away, there is no cost to it!
The Translator fully supports customized machine translation systems, using the Translator Hub.
Getting Started Guides: