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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

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

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    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 www.skype.com/translator.

    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

    Translator Solutions in Action: My Reading Level

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    Team: My Reading Level
    Solution: Translation Services

    Microsoft Foundry Cambridge, an internal development team within Microsoft, developed the My Reading Level app for Windows 8.1 which provides non-native English speakers with a personalized newsfeed to help them improve their English skills and vocabulary.

    Using the Microsoft Translator API, the app allows English learners to define and translate English text into their native languages, as well as hear how words are pronounced, on the fly while reading their newsfeeds.

    The Foundry development team was able to easily incorporate the Microsoft Translator API into their app in less than a week giving them immediate support for over 40 languages, resulting in significant improvements of the app’s core educational benefits and user experience.

     

    Read more Translator Solutions in Action at www.aka.ms/TranslatorSolutionsInAction

     
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator Now Supports 50 Languages with the Additions of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian

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    Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina Zagreb, Croatia Belgrade, Serbia

     

    We are happy to announce that have added three new languages– Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian to our list of supported languages. This brings the total number of languages supported by Microsoft Translator to 50!

    Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are welcome additions to the list of Microsoft Translator’s supported languages. Although similar in form and structure, these languages belong to countries that have a unique histories and cultures. These languages are primarily spoken in South East Europe, in the region between Italy and Greece. The nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia are major tourist destinations, with millions of people visiting each year. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is well known for its old bazaar known as Bascarsija, which was built in the 15th century. Croatia’s coastline draws hordes of visitors to its shores, and the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, has a booming nightlife. These three nations also host a variety of business and professional opportunities within their borders. We are excited to launch these translation systems, making it possible for people around the globe to have a richer understanding of these cultures and this area of the world.

    Microsoft Translator’s automatic translation engine makes instant translation a reality no matter where you are. We offer a wide variety of languages spoken all over the world, and beyond— from Africa to Asia, North America to Europe...and even Klingon. Whether you use Translator via Bing.com/Translator, on your desktop using the Windows 8 app, in Office*, through Skype Translator, SharePoint, Lync, in your own app or service through the Translator API, or simply through your favorite social media or consumer review app, you will now be able to communicate in 50 languages and have your world in your words. You can even check out these new translation systems on the go using the Translator app for Windows Phone, featuring camera mode** for translating text on walls, signs, et cetera-- wherever they may be!

    Learn More about Microsoft Translator:



    * Newly released language will only appear in Microsoft Office applications if you update the service from within the app. See the steps here: http://aka.ms/TranslatorAddNewLanguageInOffice

    ** Serbian only support for the moment.

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Translator Solutions in Action: Internet Explorer

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    Team: Internet Explorer
    Solution: Customer Support

    The Internet Explorer (IE) team at Microsoft uses the Microsoft Translator API to translate non-English customer reports from around the world, allowing them to resolve customer issues faster and more effectively. The API has also improved IE’s ability to triage customer comments and conduct data mining on text that is not written in English.

    The Translator API was quick and painless for IE to incorporate into their current projects and workflows, and Translator’s marketplace portal has been easy to use— allowing them to effortlessly monitor and change their usage quotas.

     

    Read more Translator Solutions in Action at www.aka.ms/TranslatorSolutionsInAction

     
  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Simplicity is Possible in a Multi-Lingual, Omni Channel Support World

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    The following is a guest post by the Microsoft Translator Partner, Lionbridge Technologies, who developed GeoFluent as a solution to address the challenge of real-time translation of user generated content leveraging the Microsoft Translator automatic translation service and customization capabilities of the Translator Hub.

    Let’s face it: customers appreciate simplicity. Nothing saves an angry customer from becoming an ex-customer like simple, seamless customer support. Savvy businesses offer up to a dozen contact channels to deliver support at the right time and place for a customer, but many are stymied by the complexity of providing this level of support for their entire customer base, and in a variety of different selling mediums.

    Consider the multi-lingual nature of North America alone. According to a recent survey, 30% of North Americans do not consider the English language as their native language. The number of limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals in the United States has also grown by 81 percent since 1990. Finally, nearly one in ten working-age U.S. adults—19.2 million persons aged 16 to 64—are considered limited English proficient. The complexity, customer service executives would say, is that they cannot possibly staff for support of all the languages of all their customers any given point.

    Another factor making effective customer service seemingly complex is the dynamic way customers can interact with service providers. This interaction is omni-channel, whereby customers can not only buy products from selling organizations, but also reverse direction and interact and provide feedback to that sell for all to see. This has put new pressure on sellers to quickly and effectively manage this interaction, or risk a hostile reputation. Indeed, according to Forrester Research, 67% of today’s Internet users would prefer to find (pre- and post- sales) answers online.

    Modern, simple customer support is dynamic – whether one to one contact channels like email ticketing and chat, communication takes place in near real time. Chat, for example, can be an effective way for customers to reach out to customer service representatives to have their issues resolved, and learn about new products. At the same time, technology has made it possible to allow customers to converse in their own native language, and provide the same capability for company representatives and other customer service staff. This is achieved by enhanced, personalized machine translation. As a result, multinational businesses – or even businesses with multilingual customer bases – can significantly broaden their reach, boost brand loyalty and cost-effectively support customers, regardless of language, location or device. Best of all, translation processes can be specially mindful of industry terms that need to be carefully translated, security concerns, and easy accessibility by both agent and consumer.

    Enhanced, personalized machine translation is definitely not as perfect as human translation. But that’s okay. What it does do is aide chat conversations that cannot wait for long-term translation perfection to be actionable, understandable, and immediate.

    When deploying machine translation in a support environment, organizations must consider:

    • How does the solution integrate into existing software/workflows
    • The preservation of brand/product terms.
    • How to maximize translation quality through translation engine customization and agent/moderator training?
    • Does the solution offer adequate safeguards for the handling of PII.


    This is the heart of what GeoFluent by Lionbridge does every day for all of our customers. As a result of our partnership with Microsoft Translator, we can help answer these challenges and make the customer service translation process simple, actionable, understandable, and immediate.

    Your customer base is only growing more diverse and channel-savvy. Providing simple, cost effective in language customer support is within your grasp. Please visit http://geofluent.lionbridge.com/ to learn how state of the art machine translation can make multilingual, multi-channel, customer support simple.

    By: Greg Belkin, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management, Lionbridge.

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