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

    Microsoft Translator makes the Web more worldly

    • 44 Comments

    Did you know that Microsoft Translator powers translations in Live Search Bing? 

    For example, to translate this search result, click "Translate this page" at the end of the result description:

    Image of Wikipedia search result

    You'll see the page in a bilingual view, with the original page on the left, and the translated page on the right.

    Here is the list languages we support today:

    English to/from:

    Arabic   French   Latvian    Swedish
    Bulgarian  German   Lithuanian   Thai
    Chinese Simplified  Greek   Norwegian   Turkish
    Chinese Traditional  Haitian Creole   Polish   Ukrainian
    Czech  Hebrew     Portuguese   Vietnamese
    Danish  Hungarian   Romanian  
    Dutch  Indonesian   Russian  
    English  Italian   Slovak  
    Estonian  Japanese   Slovenian  
    Finnish  Korean   Spanish

    We'll roll out more languages over the next several months.

    So try clicking 'Translate this page' in your search results. Let us know what you think!

    Bing Search Blog

    Update (11/15): Edited the link to the Bing Search blog.

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator Instant Answers Now On Bing

    • 50 Comments

    Use Bing to instantly translate queries from one language to another with our translation Instant Answer!  Starting today, when you are looking for a translation of a word or phrase, go to Bing.com and kick off an instant translation, powered by Microsoft Translator.  Instant translation is another way that Bing helps you complete tasks faster by presenting better organized and more relevant content.

    What to expect?

    Example query: translate I love you

    Bing returns:

    clip_image001

    Example query: translate I love you to Japanese

    Bing returns:

    clip_image002

    Example query: how do you say apple juice in Spanish

    Bing returns:

    clip_image003

    Enjoy!!

    Cheers,

    Lane Rau

    Microsoft Translator

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    IE8 Beta 2 - Translation Accelerator

    • 39 Comments

    Last week the Internet Explorer team announced the Beta 2 release of IE8 (you can download it here).  This is great news for users of translation services, because IE8 incorporates translation directly into your browsing experience!  No need to cut and paste text from the site you are viewing into our landing page.  You now have ready access to the service – from any page you visit!  Now you can simply select some text and then click on the blue Accelerators icon. With the "Translate with Windows Live" Accelerator in Internet Explorer 8, you can get an in-place translation of the selected text displayed directly on the page.

    Here's how it works:

    Select a block of text on a web page:

    clip_image001

    See the blue arrow that now hovers on the page – click on it:

    clip_image002

    You have a few options here – if you hover over the menu item “Translate with Windows Live”, you will see an instant preview of the translated text (you can also change your language here):

    clip_image003

    If you click on the menu item instead of hovering over, you'll be taken to the Translator main page and the text will be translated there. Note that the URL text box is pre-populated with the page you were browsing before, so if you decide to translate the whole page all you have to do is click the button

    Other options:

    · Without selecting any text, right-click anywhere in the page and click on the menu item. Your web page will be directed to the bilingual viewer, and begin to be translated.

    · Select a hyperlink, right click to invoke the menu and click on 'Translate with Windows Live'. The hyperlinked target page will be directed to the bilingual viewer, and begin to be translated.

    Enjoy! Please let us know your feedback on the experience. 

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Announcing the Microsoft Translator web page widget

    • 56 Comments

    The Microsoft Translator team is very proud to announce the technology preview of an innovative offering for web page translations. Attendees to MIX09 this week get a special invitation to try out the Microsoft Translator web page widget. We are also accepting registrations, and will be sending out more invites as they become available.image

    What it is: Built on top of the Microsoft Translator AJAX API (also announced today) it is a small, customizable widget that you can place on your web page – and it helps you instantly makes the page available in multiple languages.

    Who it is for: Anyone with a web page. If you can paste a small snippet of code into your page, you will be able to display the widget to your audience. No need to know programming intricacies, or how to call a javascript API. No need to write or install server side plug-ins for your specific software. 

    What it offers: It provides a simple interface to anyone that visits the web page to select and translate content into a different language. You can see a demo on this page.

    What is cool about it:

    • Innovative: Unlike other (including our) existing solutions, it does not take the users away from the site. The translations are in-place and instant. Users can hover over the translation to see the original. image
    • Easy to Use: Adding it to your page is as easy as copy and paste. Using it on the site is as easy as select language and click the button.
    • Customizable: You can pick the colors that best blend into your site design. You can pick the size that would best fit into your design (in fact the widget has an adaptive layout that better uses real estate when very wide). image
    • Thoughtful User Experience: Progressive rendering allows for the page to get translated progressively – without having the user stare at a white space while the translation is being performed. The translation toolbar that appears when the translation is kicked off provides a progress indicator, the languages selected and a way to turn off the translation.  
    • Localized: The UI is available in multiple languages – so users that come to your page with their browser set to a different language will see the widget in their language. 

    Fun! What does it cost: It is completely free. You can put it on any site – commercial or non-commercial. You are only limited by the invite codes available at this point, but over the coming months we plan to make it more widely available.

    What we are working on:

    • More polish: We will be looking for your feedback and continue to work on the fit and finish for the widget & toolbar UI.
    • More customizability: We will be evolving the default color palette available to you through the adoption portal. We will also be looking at your feedback on the overall design.
    • New Features: There are a bunch of very cool features that we are working on that will be added soon (your widgets will inherit most of these features). These include “Automatic” translations on page load, multiple layouts/views (bringing in the well received views feature of our bi-lingual viewer offering) and some surprises that we are working on with other teams at Microsoft.

    Other questions:

    I can’t get it to work. Where can I get support or provide feedback?

    I would like to highlight that this is a technology preview release – so please do test it on your site before presenting to your users. The Microsoft Translator forums are now live. Feel free to head over and interact with other users. You will also find members of our team there who can help.

    Can this save me the cost of doing human translation on my professional website?

    Our goal (and that of most machine translation systems available today) is to provide what we call “useful” translations. While the technology is improving month to month, it will still take a long time before it can match human translation quality. We don’t recommend using machine translation for sensitive or highly critical information. You can learn more about translation quality here and here. You can learn more about how we do machine translation here.

    How many languages do you support? When can you add support for <insert language here>?

    Currently we support the following languages.

    · Arabic

    · Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)

    · Dutch

    · French

    · German

    · Italian

    · Japanese

    · Korean

    · Polish

    · Portuguese

    · Russian

    · Spanish

    Polish was our most recent addition. Our goal is to keep adding languages as we get enough training data to meet our minimum (“useful”) quality criteria which include both standard measurements and human evaluations.

    I am using a hosted service for my site/blog that does not let me use javascript widgets. What can I do?

    We are looking to work with providers of hosted services to make adding the widget an easy process for their users. If your provider does not offer this, please let them and us know that you would like to see the widget work with your site.

    Keep checking this post and our forums for announcements, known issues and more information. You can follow our MIX09 coverage on twitter and on Vikram’s blog.

    Last Updated: 3/18/2009, 4:15 PM

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Office 2003 setup instructions (updated)

    • 19 Comments

    Update: Check out the new installer you can download to make this really easy!   

    Following up on last week's post on the integration of translation into Office, here are the instructions to set it up in Office 2003, for our users who do not have Office 2007. 

    1) Open the task pane

    First bring up the task pane by selecting "Task Pane" on the View menu (or pressing Ctrl-F1):

    image

    2) Select the research pane

    In the Task pane drop-down menu (here labeled "Getting Started"), select the "Research" task pane.

    image

    3) Go to the Research Options dialog

    After you've chosen the "Research" task pane, there should be a "Research options" hyperlink at the bottom of the pane. Click on this hyperlink to bring up the task pane.

    image

    4) Select the "Add Services" button

    image

    5) Enter the URL of the Microsoft Translator Web Service

    Here you'll need to type in the address of the Microsoft Translator Web Service:
    http://www.windowslivetranslator.com/officetrans/register.asmx

    Then click the "Add" button to continue.

    image

    6) Install the Microsoft Translator services

    Just click the "Install" button in this dialog.

    Note that you can't check any of the boxes; this is expected behavior. Translation systems, unlike other Research Pane plug-ins, are enabled in a different dialog. The next steps will cover this.

    image

    Now click "OK" to close the research options dialog.

    7) Select the Translation subpane from the drop down menu

    image

    At this point, Word may bring up a dialog saying, "Microsoft Word can't open the translation feature. This feature is not currently installed. Would you like to install it now?" Click "Yes" to install the feature.

    8) Bring up the Translation options dialog

    Just below the combo boxes that allow you to select the source and target language, there should be a hyperlink labeled "Translation options..". Click on it to open the translation options dialog. (Depending on what text you have highlighted and which translation features are installed and enabled on your machine, the Research task pane may look slightly different. That's OK; just find the "Translation options..." hyperlink.)

    image

    9) Windows Live Translator as your translation engine

    This is where you specify which translation engines you'd like to use for each language pair. By default Word uses WorldLingo for all language pairs; this is where you can choose Windows Live Translator instead. (Certain Word installations don't seem to come with WorldLingo pre-installed, so you may not have to change anything here.)

    The language pairs currently available from MSR-MT are as follows:

    English ↔ Chinese (Simplified)

    English ↔ French

    English ↔ German

    English ↔ Italian

    English ↔ Japanese

    English ↔ Spanish

    English → Arabic

    English → Chinese (Traditional)

    English → Dutch

    English → Korean

    English → Portuguese (Brazil)

    You may have slightly different settings for Bilingual Dictionaries (on the top half of the dialog); that's OK. You only need to look at and change the Machine Translation settings (on the bottom of the dialog). Again, if Windows Live Translator is already selected, you don't have to do anything.

    image

    Click OK to close the dialog. You should now be ready to translate!

    Using the Translation Feature

    Now find or create a document that has some content you'd like to translate.

    1) Select text, right click and select Translate

    The easiest way to bring up and use the translation task pane is to simply select some content in your Word document, right click, and select the "Translation" option. You can also go to the Research task pane, type a query into the box, and select the Translation subpane.

    image

    2) Select an installed language pair

    By default, Word will list a variety of language pairs, even if you haven't installed a machine translation system for those pairs. In the "From" and "To" boxes, select a source and target language that correspond to one of the language pairs you installed above.

    image

    3) Inspect your translated output

    After a brief delay (during which the web service is invoked and the selected text is translated), the MT output should appear in the research pane.

    image

    4) Optionally insert the output into your document

    At the bottom of the MT output, there's a button that allows you to easily insert the translated output into your document.

    image

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