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  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Communicate Across Language Barriers with Skype for Windows Desktop


    Have you been wanting to use Skype Translator, but don't have Windows 8.1 on your PC? The new Skype for Windows desktop app includes Skype Translator, and is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Powered by Microsoft Translator, Skype for Windows desktop lets you make translated calls in Chinese Mandarin, French, English, German, Italian, and Spanish. You can also IM in 50 languages. Only the caller needs to use the new Skype for desktop app to make a translated call — the receiver can use almost any other Skype app such as Skype for iPhone or Android.

    Since its initial release in December 2014, the Skype Translator preview has connected hundreds of thousands of people across geographies and languages. We have seen some incredibly inspirational stories from our preview program participants about how they've used Skype Translator. We are excited to make this technology available to an even broader range of users. Some of our favorite stories include:

    • A student who planned her yearlong study abroad trip to China only through Translator
    • A multicultural newly-engaged couple who kept in touch with each other's families via weekly video chats
    • An owner of a small business who communicated with his best suppliers through IM
    • A Ph.D. student who enhanced his thesis research with the help of experts in other countries
    • An Australian world traveler who found his way across continents by translating key phrases
    • A non-profit worker who used Skype Translator to unite donors and those in need

    Since Translator's machine-learning technology gets smarter the more it's used, we are looking forward to introducing the feature to more devices and a wider range of people.

    The update is being introduced to the Skype for Windows desktop app over the next few weeks. When you see these new Skype Translator icons in your updated app, Skype Translator is ready to use! If you don't already have Skype, you can download it here.

    If you need any help, Skype Support will have more details. If you want to leave any feedback, you can submit it to the Skype Community Forum.

    Learn more about the new Skype for Windows desktop app on the official Skype blog.

    Apps powered by Microsoft Translator:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Translations are even easier with “Complications” for Apple Watch


    "Complications" are important pieces of information you can see right on the face of an Apple Watch. With the new WatchOS 2, data from apps can be Complications too. Ironically, we've used "Complications" to make translation even easier while you are using Translator for your Apple Watch with its companion iPhone app. We also have a couple of brand new features to help you communicate quickly and effectively in all of the languages supported by Microsoft Translator.

    With the Apple Watch update:

    • Complications will automatically display common phrases like "good morning" and "goodbye" on the watch face in the local language when you're abroad. The phrases are based on your location and the time of day.
    • Play back a recent or pinned translation through the watch speaker — no need to pull out your phone. This lets you have your translated words and phrases at the ready when you need them.
    • The new "Time Travel" feature lets you see phrases for a later time of day to make it easier to communicate — for instance, learn how to say "good night" in the local language before dinner so you're ready to say it when you leave.

    The Microsoft Office Team also introduced a host of new features for Office on the iPad Pro, iOS 9, and WatchOS 2. Learn more about the all of the updates to Translator and Office at the Office 365 blog.

    Learn more and download Translator

    Apps Powered by Microsoft Translator:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Get instant translations from Cortana, your personal digital assistant in Windows 10


    Microsoft Translator provides translations whenever and wherever you need them. Translator is available in a number of apps for smartwatches, phones, tablets, and PCs. It is also integrated into a number of products such as Microsoft Office and Skype Translator.

    To make translation even more convenient, the Cortana team has launched native translation support to Windows 10 in its US and Chinese editions.*

    Cortana, with the help of Microsoft Translator, places powerful translation technology at your fingertips by instantly translating words, phrases, and sentences from English or Chinese (depending on your edition) to almost 40 languages.

    There are a couple different ways to use Cortana's translation capabilities. First, you can simply say "Hey Cortana," followed by the word or phrase you want translated, for instance:

    "Hey Cortana, translate where is the nearest taxi stand in French?"

    "Hey Cortana, how to say where is the closest grocery store in Spanish?"

    You can, of course, also just type directly your request in the taskbar, for example, "Translate what is the nearest 5 star hotel to German"... although this admittedly takes some of the speech (and fun) out of using the personal digital assistant.

    To edit the translation, hear it with text-to-speech, or share it with a friend just click on "Open Translator" to navigate to the Microsoft Translator landing page on Bing.

    Want to know if Cortana can translate in the language you need? Here is a list of all of the languages you can translate to:

    Chinese (Simplified)
    Klingon (pIqaD)

    Sometimes, if Cortana misunderstands you or does not have the Translation, the assistant opens up a web page after performing a web search for it.

    Hopefully next time you want to know the translation of a word or phrase in a specific language, Cortana will lend you a hand. All you have to do is ask!

    Do you need translation of signs and menus, or do you need translation support when you are not connected to the web? Try out the Microsoft Translator apps for Windows Phone and Windows PC that lets you more finely tune your translation, and include camera translation, offline translation, and more!

    For more Windows 10 resources, don't forget to check out the Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks page. Or if you have any questions, you can always post to Windows 10 Forums at Windows Central for more help.

    Apps Powered by Microsoft Translator:

    *Cortana is also available in Windows Phone 8.1 in China. More versions of Windows 10 to be supported in the near future.

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator Releases Apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear



    Talking with Your Hands Never Made So Much Sense

    When you encounter someone who doesn't speak the same language as you, communication can certainly be a challenge— it often involves a lot of pointing and arm waving. Microsoft Translator's apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear finally make talking with your hands something useful. The apps let you translate on-the-go without having to fumble for a phone, making translation quicker and easier and making your communication more seamless and personal.You can download the Translator apps for Apple Watch or Android Wear now by going here.

    Our researchers are continuously looking at the most effective ways to bring down linguistic barriers by solving significant technical and interaction design challenges. Today, we have a number of ways in which Microsoft Translator is accessible to our users— on the web, as part of your search experience, through many experiences built by our developer community, via Office and more. Most recently we worked closely with our friends in Skype to deliver an entirely new interaction model for translation by enabling long distance real-time speech translation. Like we did with Skype Translator, we have been thinking about how wearable technology might affect language and translation experiences. The new wearable apps we are releasing today are part of this exploration.

    Wearables are a fascinating place to understand user experiences for translation. No other type of device allows people to interact with so little physical intrusion from the device itself— PC's, tablets, and even phones can be occasionally awkward and unnatural in the middle of a conversation. With these smart devices, we want to learn how people use the apps and how effective the translation experiences can be. By integrating translation capabilities into devices that are instantly on hand (pun intended), we hope to continue to break down the last barrier in human communication— language.

    With the Microsoft Translator apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear you can:

    • Speak into your watch to get instant translations in all of the languages supported by Microsoft Translator.
    • Make translation even faster by pinning your most commonly used translations to your screen for easy access.
    • Browse your translation history to find recently used words and phrases.
    • Adjust your device's settings with companion apps for your iPhone or Android smartphone.

    The companion apps also let you translate when you don't have your watch, and supports voice and text translation in all the languages supported by Microsoft Translator.

    Microsoft is releasing the Translator apps together with two other productivity apps for wearables— Yammer and Outlook. They join a growing list of Microsoft apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear, including OneNote, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Sunrise, and Wunderlist. Learn more about all of these wearable apps.

    Your feedback is incredibly important as we explore this new mode of interaction, and we have setup a special forum for you to interact with our team and provide feedback, suggestions, and comments. We would love to hear from you!

    Download Translator apps for Apple Watch or Android Wear

    More End-User Translator Apps:

  • Microsoft Translator Team Blog

    Increase Multi-Language Productivity with Document Translator


    The Document Translator app and the associated source code demonstrate how Microsoft Translator can be integrated into enterprise and business workflows. The app allows you to rapidly translate documents, individually or in batches, with full fidelity—keeping formatting such as headers and fonts intact, and allowing you to continue editing if necessary. Using the Document Translator code and documentation, developers can learn how to incorporate the functionality of the Microsoft Translator cloud service into a custom workflow, or add extensions and modifications to the batch translation app experience. Document Translator is a showcase for use of the Microsoft Translator API to increase productivity in a multi-language environment, released as an open source project on GitHub.

    Whether you are writing in Word, pulling together the latest numbers into Excel, or creating presentations in PowerPoint, documents are at the center of many of your everyday activities. When your team speaks multiple languages, quick and efficient translation is essential to your organization's communication and productivity. Microsoft Translator already brings the speed and efficiency of automatic translation to Office, Yammer, as well as a number of other apps, websites and workflows. Document Translator uses the power of the Translator API to accelerate the translation of large numbers of Word, PDF*, PowerPoint, or Excel documents into all the languages supported by Microsoft Translator.

    Additionally, Document Translator highlights several key features of the Translator API that were designed with businesses and developers in mind: enable the no-trace option on your translated content by using your no-trace enabled Client ID in situations that require greater privacy, and connect to the Microsoft Translator Hub to create your own custom translation system using your organization's and industry's unique terminology. These features are available to anyone creating custom products and apps with the Translator API.

    To get started with Document Translator and to begin developing your own apps, all you need is credentials for the Microsoft Translator API. To run the app, you will just need to input your credentials in the Settings tab. If you are new to the API, sign up for your free 2 million character per month subscription to the API by going to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, or get detailed instructions on Translator MSDN.

    Download the Document Translator's open source code and demonstrator app

    Learn More:

    * For pdf support, Office 2013 or above needs to be installed on the computer where you run the compiled app. Not needed for the other formats. Please also note that the translated pdfs will be saved as Word documents. You can then use Word to convert them back to pdf or use any pdf printer available on the market.

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