Microsoft Translator Team Blog

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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Say ‘Hello World!’ Announcing Speech Input for the Bing Translator app for Windows

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    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.

                                                                                                                      

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Summer Interns Singing a Happy Tune with Song Translator App

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    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.

    .

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Celebrating International Translation Day with New Translator Office App and Windows Phone App Updates

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    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!  

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Announcing the Next Generation of the Bing Translator Widget – Powering the Tomorrow Project

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    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.

    As a free HTML/JavaScript app, the Translator Widget allows you to bring real-time, in-place translation to any web site. Visitors can see your pages in their own language, without having to go to a separate translation web site. Visitors to your site can also help you enhance the translations on your website by suggesting better translations for specific sentences, and you may invite others to turn these suggestions into authoritative corrections for all visitors.

    Webmasters, developers, bloggers, or anyone with a webpage will be able to leverage the widget to expand their audience. The best part is, you don’t have to write new code to leverage the Translator widget. If you can paste a small snippet of JavaScript into your page, you will be able to display the widget to your audience. No need to know programming intricacies, or how to call an API. No need to write or install server side plug-ins for your specific software. Just copy, paste, and enable your visitors to translate!

     

    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:

     

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    From Tweet to Translate: Microsoft’s translation service powers new translation feature in Twitter for Windows Phone

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    Over the last few months, we shared with you two innovative translation experiences that we developed for the Windows platform – Bing Translator for Windows Phone and for Windows 8. These apps utilize the best technologies from Microsoft Research, Bing and Windows to deliver great travel, communication and information consumption experiences to consumers.

    Thousands of developers are at BUILD 2013 in San Francisco this week where Microsoft is showcasing how they can create great experiences for their consumers on Windows platforms by utilizing these technologies in their own applications.

    Today during Steven Guggenheimer’s keynote at BUILD, Microsoft showcased the availability of an exciting new update to Twitter for Windows Phone – bringing instant translation of Tweets that are in a different language than your own. Over the last year, Microsoft has been working with the team at Twitter to explore how its translation technology, based on Microsoft Research’s extensive advancements in machine learning, can help the global Twitter community better communicate across language barriers.

            Twitter Screenshot 2    Twitter Screenshot

    With this update, a soccer/football fan can still follow the news about their favorite soccer team even if the breaking news on Twitter is not in their language. Tapping on a Tweet with a globe icon, which indicates translation is available, expands the Tweet and shows translated text right below the original content. The built-in Tweet translation feature is available for the 38 languages supported by the app powered by Microsoft Translator. Download/update your Windows Phone Twitter app to try it out for yourself!

    “Breaking down language barriers with world-class research and engineering has been the guiding principle behind the development of Microsoft Translator, and Twitter is an excellent new addition to community of customers and developers leveraging Microsoft’s translation technology for their users,” said Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research US. “The integration of machine translation technology from Microsoft Research has the ability to broaden any application’s impact through a substantial increase in accessibility to real time communications and information sharing. No longer is language a barrier to real time instant connections around the world.”

    Windows Phone application developers can take advantage of the Microsoft Translator API to bring the power of instant translation to their apps. Windows developers can also download the just announced Translator control for Windows to reach a global audience and differentiate their Windows applications.

    As the next billion users come online, we look forward to delivering and enabling many more global experiences by continuing to harness the innovations coming out of our research work and data platforms with developers, app builders and partners. 

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