The Microsoft Translator team is excited to announce the new translation bot for Windows Live Messenger! This Messenger bot does translations for you. Just add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts and start chatting. You can have one-on-one conversations with the bot, or you can invite a friend and chat in different languages with the bot translating for you. As usual, remember that machine translation isn’t perfect – slang especially will give the engine trouble.
You can also access Windows Live Messenger on your smartphone to use the bot to translate simple sentences while you’re traveling to other countries!
The translator bot is localized into all of the languages for which we have translation support on www.microsofttranslator.com:
The translator Bot supports the following translation languages (the latest list of languages can be found here):
More languages will be rolled out over the next several months. Start using the bot and let us know your feedback!
FYI - at any time while you’re chatting with the bot, just type “TBot ?” to get a list of commands that the bot understands:
Update (1/25/2010): Updated language list and links.
We are pleased to welcome Yahoo! Babel Fish users to the Bing Translator family. We have been working closely with our friends at Yahoo! to make this an easy transition, and Bing Translator is a natural upgrade to the experience with Yahoo! Babel Fish. We support all the languages you used with Babel Fish, and provide a superset of all the features.
You will notice a welcome banner indicating your transition to the Bing Translator site from a Yahoo site when you arrive at Bing Translator. I am pleased to introduce to you some of the great features that our translation service offers starting with a brief introduction to the technology behind the service.
Our translation technology is built on over a decade of world-class work done at Microsoft Research, and is widely used by a variety of applications and websites. You may have already encountered our technology when you used the translation features within products like Microsoft Office, Bing, Windows Phone, Facebook and Kindle. We serve billions of translations every day across 38 different languages, and we continually add to the list of languages and features. We also have a fast growing developer community.
Text translator: You can translate text snippets between the supported languages on the home page. If you aren’t sure about the language of the source text, you can always leave it as “Auto-Detect” and we will detect it for you. You can also listen to the translation for a sub set of languages by clicking the speaker icon. You can search the web with translated text snippet, or email it. We welcome your feedback on the translation quality.
Webpage translator: Simply type a webpage URL into the text entry box on the home page to translate a webpage. You can use the bi-lingual viewer functionality and switch between various views, including the popular side-by-side view. As you navigate through the site, the webpage translator continues translating.
Website widget: We delivered the first no-code, in-place translation widget several years ago and have improved it further since then. The Microsoft Translator widget is a simple to use web control that can make your site available in multiple languages without any coding, while keeping your users on your site. The unique collaborative translation functionality allows you to customize the translations delivered to your site by partnering with trusted users and allow your community to provide suggestions and corrections, to ensure the translations are always best suited to your content and always up-to-date.
You may also find it interesting to explore the language labs, where you can test new prototypes and demos from the minds of our team’s researchers and engineers. Our blog is here, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and if you have any questions or need any technical support you can use the forums.
You can also directly reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any other questions.
Once again, welcome! We are very pleased to have you.
Vikram Dendi, Director, Bing/Microsoft Translator (@vikman)
Updated (5/30): Fixed some links
In my last update I had asked about what languages you wanted Microsoft Translator service to support. Thank you for taking the time to respond. We are pleased to announce that last week we added Czech (CSY), Danish (DAN), Greek (ELL), Swedish (SVE) and Thai (THA), taking our language count to a nice round 20.
Here is the complete list as of today:
You will be able to translate between these languages in all Microsoft Translator powered services including Bing Translator, Internet Explorer Accelerator, Office, Widget as well as in our APIs. Feel free to send in your feedback on the new languages via the forum. We do keenly follow your recommendations and requests as we prioritize new languages – so please do keep them coming in the comments section!
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
· Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)
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.
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