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
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.
Update: Check out the new installer you can download to make this really easy!
Windows Live Translator is now integrated into Office! One of the top features that our users ask for is simple integration of translation into Office, to translate a document quickly. The feature is really easy to use, and you can translate a block of text or an entire document, from within Office.
We have officially handed over our code to the Microsoft Office team for the integration of the translation tool directly in the Research Task Pane. Once they have finished their own testing and "flipped the switch" on their side, the feature will auto-update in existing versions of Office. I'll blog about that here again when that happens - at that point, no additional setup steps will be necessary.
In the meantime, you can use the instructions below to set up the service manually. For users of Office 2003, I'll post those instructions later this week.
Office 2007 Setup Instructions:
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.
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.
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.
Now click "OK" to close the research options dialog.
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.
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.)
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 Windows Live Translator are as follows:
English ↔ Chinese (Simplified)
English ↔ French
English ↔ German
English ↔ Italian
English ↔ Arabic
English ↔ Chinese (Traditional)
English ↔ Dutch
English ↔ Japanese
English ↔ Korean
English ↔ Portuguese (Brazil)
English ↔ Spanish
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.
Click OK to close the dialog. You are now ready to translate!
Now find or create a document that has some content you'd like to translate.
The easiest way to bring up and use the translation task pane is to simply select some content in your Word document, and click on the Translation icon in the Review tab. You can also go to the Research task pane, type a query into the box, and select the Translation subpane.
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.
After a brief delay (during which the web service is invoked and the selected text is translated), the translated text should appear in the research pane.
At the bottom of the MT output, there's a button that allows you to easily insert the translated output into your document.
There have been many stories about brain vs. brawn. More recently, human brain and computer brawn have been pitted against each other in arenas such as one-on-one chess. We all have been hearing about applying large amounts of computing power to solve problems like translation by sheer force. As a high performance cloud service offered by Microsoft, we continue to make investments in such processing power – but we also know that no matter how many machines you throw at translation, it is still impossible to get the correct, error-free, contextually accurate translation every time. With the clear understanding of how it would be a much better outcome for our users and partners, we have been hard at work exploring ways of putting together the might of the machines and the power of human understanding. The first wave of innovations focused on our partners and users was what we called “Anywhere Translations”.
Welcome to the next wave of innovation – Collaborative Translations.
Microsoft is pleased to announce, the availability of the Collaborative Translations Framework – a technology that combines the scale and speed of automatic machine translation with the accuracy and context awareness of human translation. At MIX 2010, we are announcing the latest version of our translation API (v2) and built on top of that, a new version of the pioneering translator widget that we released a year ago. In addition to bringing real-time, in-place translations to your web site, the Microsoft Translator web page widget v2 adds collaborative features that help tailor the translations delivered to fit your site.
In addition to the collaborative features powered by the Collaborative Translations Framework, the V2 of the Microsoft Translator API includes a “batch” interface to translate large amounts of data, support for communicating with the service securely via SSL and the addition of “Translate-and-Speak” – a text-to-speech functionality. We are also adding an enhancement to our Bing Translator user site, where you can use the “Translate-and-Speak” functionality whenever you translate into one of the supported languages.
What is being announced today:
1) A simple to adopt, highly customizable widget that site owners and webmasters can place on any webpage – and it not only helps to instantly make the page available in multiple languages, it also allows the owners with the help of their community or professional translators to tailor the the translations to their site’s content.
2) A broad set of powerful translation APIs in SOAP, HTTP and AJAX flavors so that developers can pick the best one to fit their requirement. Functionality includes language detection, single and batch translation, collaborative translations and text to speech. All you need to get started is a Bing Developer AppID. In addition, we are also announcing the Microsoft Translator Silverlight control for translation will be available as part of the Silverlight toolkit.
3) An update to Bing Translator translation service, which adds the “Translate-and-Speak” functionality for a set of languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian). Perform a translation on the site and you will notice a speaker icon to click on to hear it spoken.
Who is it for:
The APIs are for anyone that would like to bring translations to their app or site. Some developers have used the APIs to deliver applications that can deal with content in multiple languages, and others have used them to localize their applications. Designers have used them to make sure their designs work in many locales, and enterprises have used them to translate documents. Phone application developers might find the cloud text-to-speech API particularly interesting, as they develop hands-free scenarios.
What is cool about it:
Fun! What does it cost:
The widget is completely free for use on commercial or non-commercial sites. Instead of expensive localization whose costs are incremental if a site has changing content, the translator widget brings a no-cost option to site owners. Depending on their needs, site owners can choose to invite their chosen translators to come help improve the translations delivered to their site.
The APIs are also available at no cost to developers and partners. For high volume commercial use, email email@example.com.
How do I get it:
Each MIX 2010 attendee gets an exclusive invite code in their attendee bags to enable Collaborative Translations features in their widget. If you are not attending MIX, you can still get a widget for your site, and add yourself to the Collaborative Translations feature invite list. We will be sending invites as soon as some more become available.
What we are working on:
I can’t get it to work or I have encountered a bug. Where can I get support or provide feedback?
Given the pre-release nature of the new functionality you might encounter glitches as we work towards adding new features. The known issues list is available here. If there is an issue that you encounter which is not in the list, we would love it if you could let us know. You can either use our forums, or directly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can this save me the cost of doing expert localization of my professional website?
Expert localization is an extremely important and valuable aspect of doing business globally. We have always encouraged our users to take advantage of the exceptional quality of translations provided by an expert translator for mission critical content that needs to be localized. For those of you who are looking for a low cost way to localize content that you might not otherwise have localized, or for content that is rapidly changing (and not cost effective to use expert localization) – our machine and human collaborative translations option could come in handy and save money.
How many languages do you support? When can you add support for <insert language here>?
We continually work on adding new languages – since last MIX we added 17 new languages bringing us to 30. Here is the list of languages we currently support:
You can always find the latest list of languages here.
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.
Those of you who are at MIX 2010 can dive deeper into these technologies at our session (Monday 3/15, Lagoon H at 2:00 PM). We will also be posting in-depth information about the various aspects of today’s announcement in the next few days. Keep checking this post and our forums for further announcements, known issues and more information. You can follow our MIX10 coverage on twitter.