Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

News and Views from the Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Team in Microsoft Research.

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official 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. 

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    MIX MIX MIX… and some late night goodies

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    It’s nearly midnight in Seattle. The team is heads down in preparing the service for MIX 2010… I am sitting in the office wondering which of my 100 to-do items I should tackle next. So, naturally, I do something that’s not on that list. Something fun. :)

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, MIX is our favorite conference and so we put “money where our mouth is” (let’s see a machine translation system deal with that one!) and said an enthusiastic yes when the team asked us to be a sponsor. All you lucky MIX attendees will see some awesome swag in your bags courtesy Microsoft Translator, with one of the highlights being a lovely decal for your notebook/pad/device.

    Everyone liked the design we came up with for it so much that we decided to make a wallpaper out of it for you. So, without further ado:

    MIX10_MicrosoftTranslator_dk_1920 MIX10_MicrosoftTranslator_lt_1920
    Dark: 1920x1080 /1440x900 Light:  1920x1080 / 1440x900

    Once again, don’t forget to come to our session on Monday at 2 PM at Lagoon H and also visit our Showcase demo area at The Commons.

    Enjoy!

    - Vikram Dendi, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Translator

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Microsoft Translator API now supports OData, pricing details for higher volumes announced

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    Microsoft President Satya Nadella announced major new milestones for the Translator API at his BUILD conference keynote today. We would like to provide some additional detail about the announcement here.

    The headlines:

    1. Microsoft Translator API available via the Windows Azure Marketplace at various volume levels to meet your needs
    2. Reiterating our support for standards by supporting OData and adding standards based (OAuth) authentication for greater security
    3. Publishing the pricing model for the various subscription tiers to best fit your needs (in addition to the free tier that we currently offer)

    Starting today developers can directly sign up for the Microsoft Translator service on the Windows Azure Marketplace at the level of volume they expect to use. Windows Azure Marketplace is the one stop shop for cloud data, apps and services and we are pleased to utilize this platform to deliver the Translator API to developers.  Provisioning the Microsoft Translator API through the Marketplace allows us to deliver the service at higher volumes than we previously could offer, along with the facility to upgrade to higher volume on demand. Additionally, the Marketplace provides a world-class ecommerce back-end which enables us to better serve our global Translator partners and grow with demand.

    image

    We are also pleased to announce the addition of OData to our already diverse set of interfaces (SOAP, HTTP & AJAX) to the Microsoft Translator service. Once you subscribe to the offer on Azure Marketplace, you can explore the Odata end point by using the Service Explorer. Starting now, developers are also able to use standards based two-leg authentication (OAuth) to secure calls to API (irrespective of the end point they are using). The full details are available in our developer documentation.

     

    Service Explorer

    In response to the tremendous demand from existing as well as new partners that wish to utilize a reliable, consistently available, and developer friendly service, we are also pleased to announce pricing for higher volume usage today. In addition to a no-cost tier that is designed for low-volume and hobbyist use, you can today subscribe to higher volume tiers at an attractive price point. You can subscribe to tiers ranging from 4M (million) characters a month onwards, priced at US $10 per million characters. As an introductory offer, we are also announcing a 120 day (4 month) promotional free trial on all paid subscriptions for a limited time. We hope this would allow you to use the service and determine the volume level you would need for your scenario. Existing licensees and users of our API are not affected by this announcement and will have plenty of notice to prepare for the eventual transition onto the unified Marketplace based platform. Please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for more details.

    Nearly five years ago, we first said “hello world” on this blog. Since then, thanks to an ever increasing user base and enthusiastic developer and business partners we have come a long way. As a team of researchers and engineers at Microsoft Research, we continue to strive to deliver value to Microsoft partners and users worldwide by combining research investments with product development. In addition to our the API, we also provide translation experiences through Bing Translator – our consumer focused webpage and text translation site, through Office, Bing Bar, Internet Explorer and much more. Please don’t hesitate to send us your feedback, comments and questions. We have vibrant user and developer communities where you can discuss the service or ask for help. For questions that aren’t answered in the FAQ or the community, you can also email us at mtcont@microsoft.com (for general comments), or at mtlic@microsoft.com (for specific licensing questions). Please direct any press inquires to mtcont@microsoft.com.

    We hope to see you soon from the other side of a translation request!

    Vikram Dendi
    Director of Product Management
    Microsoft Translator

    Updated (9/22): Clarification added to title that the free tier of service is not going away.

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official Team Blog

    Announcing Today at BUILD - Bing Translator Control for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

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    Today at BUILD, Microsoft announced the preview of the Bing Translator Control for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Developers can download the control immediately from the newly launched Bing Dev Center.

    With the Translator control developers get easy access to robust, cloud-based, automatic translation between more than 40 languages. The Translator control gives the Windows 8 developer access to machine translation services, which is built on over a decade of natural language research from Microsoft Research. After download and one-time authentication, you can simply place the Bing Translator control in your app, feed it a string to translate, and receive the translation. 

    The Bing Translator control, powered by the flexible Microsoft Translator API puts the power of a world class machine translation system in your hands. Designed to enable a variety of scenarios, it is available in a number of developer friendly protocols.

    The control takes the text you pass in to the Bing Translator web service for translation, and then passes the translation of the input back to you. Your application can handle the return text however you see fit. You receive the text to translate by any method, and render it by any means you choose-  using the Translator Control in the middle, in order to translate the input text to the target language.

    Get started with the Translator Control today!

    Download the Translator Control

    Sign Up for the Translator Service

    Get Samples and Documentation

  • Microsoft Translator (and Bing Translator) Official 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!  

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