We are happy to announce that have added three new languages– Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian to our list of supported languages. This brings the total number of languages supported by Microsoft Translator to 50! Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are welcome additions to the list of Microsoft Translator’s supported languages. Although similar in form and structure, these languages belong to countries that have a unique histories and cultures. These languages are primarily spoken in South East Europe, in the region between Italy and Greece. The nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia are major tourist destinations, with millions of people visiting each year. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is well known for its old bazaar known as Bascarsija, which was built in the 15th century. Croatia’s coastline draws hordes of visitors to its shores, and the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, has a booming nightlife. These three nations also host a variety of business and professional opportunities within their borders. We are excited to launch these translation systems, making it possible for people around the globe to have a richer understanding of these cultures and this area of the world. Microsoft Translator’s automatic translation engine makes instant translation a reality no matter where you are. We offer a wide variety of languages spoken all over the world, and beyond— from Africa to Asia, North America to Europe...and even Klingon. Whether you use Translator via Bing.com/Translator, on your desktop using the Windows 8 app, in Office*, through Skype Translator, SharePoint, Lync, in your own app or service through the Translator API, or simply through your favorite social media or consumer review app, you will now be able to communicate in 50 languages and have your world in your words. You can even check out these new translation systems on the go using the Translator app for Windows Phone, featuring camera mode** for translating text on walls, signs, et cetera-- wherever they may be! Learn More about Microsoft Translator:
* Newly released language will only appear in Microsoft Office applications if you update the service from within the app. See the steps here: http://aka.ms/TranslatorAddNewLanguageInOffice
** Serbian only support for the moment.
Let’s face it: customers appreciate simplicity. Nothing saves an angry customer from becoming an ex-customer like simple, seamless customer support. Savvy businesses offer up to a dozen contact channels to deliver support at the right time and place for a customer, but many are stymied by the complexity of providing this level of support for their entire customer base, and in a variety of different selling mediums. Consider the multi-lingual nature of North America alone. According to a recent survey, 30% of North Americans do not consider the English language as their native language. The number of limited English proficiency (LEP) individuals in the United States has also grown by 81 percent since 1990. Finally, nearly one in ten working-age U.S. adults—19.2 million persons aged 16 to 64—are considered limited English proficient. The complexity, customer service executives would say, is that they cannot possibly staff for support of all the languages of all their customers any given point. Another factor making effective customer service seemingly complex is the dynamic way customers can interact with service providers. This interaction is omni-channel, whereby customers can not only buy products from selling organizations, but also reverse direction and interact and provide feedback to that sell for all to see. This has put new pressure on sellers to quickly and effectively manage this interaction, or risk a hostile reputation. Indeed, according to Forrester Research, 67% of today’s Internet users would prefer to find (pre- and post- sales) answers online. Modern, simple customer support is dynamic – whether one to one contact channels like email ticketing and chat, communication takes place in near real time. Chat, for example, can be an effective way for customers to reach out to customer service representatives to have their issues resolved, and learn about new products. At the same time, technology has made it possible to allow customers to converse in their own native language, and provide the same capability for company representatives and other customer service staff. This is achieved by enhanced, personalized machine translation. As a result, multinational businesses – or even businesses with multilingual customer bases – can significantly broaden their reach, boost brand loyalty and cost-effectively support customers, regardless of language, location or device. Best of all, translation processes can be specially mindful of industry terms that need to be carefully translated, security concerns, and easy accessibility by both agent and consumer. Enhanced, personalized machine translation is definitely not as perfect as human translation. But that’s okay. What it does do is aide chat conversations that cannot wait for long-term translation perfection to be actionable, understandable, and immediate. When deploying machine translation in a support environment, organizations must consider:
This is the heart of what GeoFluent by Lionbridge does every day for all of our customers. As a result of our partnership with Microsoft Translator, we can help answer these challenges and make the customer service translation process simple, actionable, understandable, and immediate. Your customer base is only growing more diverse and channel-savvy. Providing simple, cost effective in language customer support is within your grasp. Please visit http://geofluent.lionbridge.com/ to learn how state of the art machine translation can make multilingual, multi-channel, customer support simple. By: Greg Belkin, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management, Lionbridge.
Today, Microsoft Translator launches Kiswahili (also known as Swahili) text translation, the first African language to be supported by the automatic translation service. The new language will be available throughout Microsoft Translator's ecosystem of supported products* to empower individuals and organizations through quick and cost effective translation. Kiswahili is spoken by up to 150 million people throughout eastern Africa including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With the new translation system, governments in the region will be able to make documents and information available at virtually no cost, non-governmental organizations will be able to quickly communicate with locals, and most importantly, people will be able to communicate back and forth across borders for both business and personal purposes. Microsoft Translator supports a wide range of Microsoft products and apps to communicate across language barriers in nearly any scenario where timely and cost effective translation is necessary. It is integrated into Bing, Microsoft Office (Word**, Word Online, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, and Visio), SharePoint, Cortana, and Yammer. Microsoft Translator has a full suite of apps for PCs and mobile devices including Windows, Windows Phone, Android and Android Wear, and iPhone and Apple Watch. Microsoft Translator is also integrated into the Microsoft Translator Web Widget, which allows you to easily add multi-language support to your website at no cost, and the Document Translator which allows you to quickly translate Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents individually or in batches. Kiswahili will also be available as an instant messaging language in Skype for Windows desktop so that you can communicate in real time around the world. It is also available through the Microsoft Translator API, so developers can integrate Kiswahili translation into their own products and apps. The translation system was created in collaboration with the non-profit, non-governmental organization, Translators without Borders, whose mission is to increase access to knowledge through humanitarian translations. Using the Microsoft Translator Hub, Translators without Borders and the Microsoft Translator team were able to collect first-hand language data in-country, and build a new custom translation system. Over the years, Translator has worked closely with a variety of language partners to encourage intercultural communication by creating new language systems. These community partners have added new languages such as Hmong Daw, Welsh, Urdu, and even Klingon to the list of languages supported by Microsoft Translator. Adding Kiswahili brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal — permanently breaking down the language barriers that separate us by allowing people to translate anything, anywhere, at any time. Kiswahili speakers in East Africa and around the globe now have access to a wider range of information and culture, and can interact with speakers of 50 languages throughout the world. What's more, speakers of other languages now also have direct access to the rich history and culture of Kiswahili speakers far and wide. Learn More:
*Some products to be updated soon. **To activate Kiswahili as a text translation langauge in Word, take the following steps:
Do you want add automatic translation to your app but don't know exactly how to get started? No problem, we've got you covered. We have plenty of examples of using the Microsoft Translator API in various coding languages available on GitHub. Pair that with our API documentation on MSDN and our customer support forums, and you've got everything you need to add translation to your web or mobile app. Currently, Microsoft Translator on GitHub hosts demonstrator apps in Python and C#, as well as examples for using Microsoft Translator in PowerShell, Node JS, and Bash. Python
PythonConsole is a command line application in a Visual Studio solution. It demonstrates how to get an access token and how to use the text-to-text translator API to translate from one language to another. The app only offers translation for 5 languages, but the Microsoft Translator service offers translations for 50+ languages.
C#/WPF is a C# application designed using WPF to demonstrate how to use the Microsoft Translator API. The app gives examples for:
Document Translator is written in C# and compiled in Visual Studio 2013. The Document Translator translates Microsoft Office, plain text, HTML, and PDF files from any of the 50+ languages supported by the Microsoft Translator web service, to any other of these 50+ languages. Document Translator uses your own credentials and subscription to perform the service, and will make use of any translation stored in the Collaborative Translations Framework, as well as making use of a custom MT system trained via the Microsoft Translator Hub.
Access to the Microsoft Translator API is offered for free for the first 2 million characters per month. You can sign up for your free subscription at www.aka.ms/TranslatorADM to develop, test, and launch your new app. Have fun coding! Learn More:
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.
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.