Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

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Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 mtcont@microsoft.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

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  • :( I love babelfish! I've been using it since it was part of Altavista. The 'new' is not an improved!

  • I was using yahoo babelfish yesterday on the yahoo page and it was working great.  I came back today to see that it has been changed.  So I have done a little testing on the same exact things I was looking at yesterday and today the translation came up incorrectly.  It was not the same one as yesterday.  I had always used babelfish because it had done the best job translating the most accurately.  I hope that is not going to change and that you will fix the issues you now have.

  • Fantastic.

    I have been using Babelfish for (Centuries) a very long time and use it almost daily, I already love the new look, feel and smooth operation of the new Babelfish / Bing

    I am retired in France and find the translation service so useful in the preparation and dealing with daily life, but mostly as a confidence boost to my learning of the language.

    Well done and thanks

  • i like babel fish

  • It's SIMPLY AMAZING tool for the web. Congrats to both Bing+Yahoo

    teams that made non-English sites pretty simple!

  • Thank you for your comments. Any transition from a familiar user experience to a new one is difficult, and we do hope that you will give Bing Translator enough time to grow in familiarity. I would like to address a couple of questions that have been asked:

    1) The site shows up in a langauge I don't understand. How can I turn it to English

    A: Click on this link: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/?setlang=en-us. Translator will remember this until you delete cookies.

    2) Why are the translations different?

    A: The technology that powered the Babel Fish site is different from the linguistically informed statistical machine translation technology used by Bing Translator. In recent years, research results have shown statistical methods provide better quality and improved faster than most other older approaches. This is one reason why you would see a difference in the way things get translated. Not only that, you would likely see some changes in how Bing Translator translated content over time - as we continue to improve the translation quality.

    3) Why was Babel Fish retired?

    A: The decision to retire Babel Fish was taken by Yahoo! and we subsequently worked with Yahoo! to provide a transition path for users. Please submit feedback on the site here at the blog (we read all comments), or in email to mtcont@microsoft.com.

    4) I miss a specific feature, or feature of Bing Translator is not an improvement over what I was used to.

    A: We would love to hear specific feedback about how we could improve particular features to better fit your expectation. Feel free to email us, or post here (or our forums) suggestions to improve specific features of Bing Translator.

    5) I am a webmaster, and the Babel Fish widget for my web site doesn't work anymore

    A: Please sign up for a new widget at http://www.microsofttranslator.com/widget. The dimensions of the widget are slightly different.

    While we too have mixed personal feelings about the retirement of such an iconic translation site, we at Bing Translator would like to keep the spirit of that experience alive working together with you.

    The Bing Translator team

  • We are grateful for all babelfish is doing.

  • A warning would have been nice! I was on Yahoo Babelfish yesterday and couldn't figure out why it kept dragging me to bing when I tried to go there today. Translations seem ok on my end so far (hard to tell accuracy since I don't speak the language I'm translating). But I do miss the little fish mascot... I don't know, babelfish was a clever name and cute. Hehe, I suppose that's not really important, but I'm sad to see it go.  

  • Hi,

    I have been using Babelfish for four years, to translate between English and French.  It seems that the Bling translator does not use the same algorithm, since it failed to translate two test phrases correctly.  Would it be possible to use the algorithm from Babelfish?  Even Google's translator is better than today's response from Bling.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Will

  • Will: Can you send us the phrases that Bing Translator didn't translate properly? You can email us at mtcont@microsoft.com.

  • Oh ya, by the way, it doesn't seem to auto detect the language keyed in even though it says auto detect. I have to manually select language.

  • @DC -- The Microsoft Translator widget is fully customizable.

    I'd recommend you visit the widget site here: www.microsofttranslator.com/widget and there's a wizard there to create the HTML needed for the widget, including making it work in 'auto' mode.

    If you want to override the look and feel of the widget, it can be done in JS and CSS...

  • Lovely! I'm with Bing since Live Translator and love it! Keep the good news coming!

  • NOOO now i can't bypass the block on the internet to play games at work T_T

  • I was hesitant at first. I am taking a university spanish course now, and this thing has not failed me, where Babelfish consistently did so. I put whole phrases in here, and it translated them perfectly. I would always get some weird Spanglish from babelfish.

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