Microsoft WPC 2012: Help save languages with the Translator Hub

Microsoft Translator Hub helps preserve dying languages
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Microsoft announces the commercial availability of its new language translating software at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

The Microsoft Translator Hub enables people, businesses, and developers to not only translate content, but to build their own customised translation system.

“We wanted to push the envelope and change the conversation on how machine translation is perceived in business and enterprise today,” said Vikram Dendi, director of product strategy and marketing at this week’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

“People look at machine translation as being great for general purpose use, but don’t trust it for business docs or specific tasks. What we’re doing is changing all of that.”

Whether it’s a business looking for a customisable translation tool or someone looking to preserve their native language, the Windows Azure-powered Microsoft Translator Hub can help with translation across the web, PCs and mobile devices.

At Microsoft, machine transition technology goes back nearly 20 years with the company’s Natural Language Processing Group. A decade ago Bill Gates read a paper on machine translation written by the group and decided Microsoft should further invest in this area.

Today, Microsoft’s Translator software is translating billions of worlds a day. Internet Explorer has an option to translate pages. In Lync, people speaking different languages can message each other with instant translation. Windows Phone users can take a photo of a foreign café menu and have the words translated.

"No matter who you are, or what business you are, you will encounter different languages,” said Dendi. “There are going to be innumerous scenarios where this technology will change how people do business, how they interact with each other, and how they communicate with each other. We’re excited about helping to influence that future.”

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