Life, translated

You wake up and find yourself in a deserted, unknown location. Two possible roads lie ahead, fortunately, there is a sign which states where they go. One tiny detail though, it is in a language you don’t understand. This surreal dilemma can easily be solved with Windows Technology. With the powerful Translator App, foreign languages are no longer a barrier. Simply point your smartphone’s camera to the desired text and enjoy an instant translation. Furthermore, this translating capacity is now available for all Office users. Place as many words or sentences as you want, the app will take care of the rest.

It is not magic but a constant effort from the Microsoft Translation Research team. In fact, you might have been benefiting from their work without even realizing. Have you ever right clicked an underlined word in red while using Office? If so, then the answer is yes. The machine translation team, from the Natural Language Processing group, was at first responsible for the grammar tools built in Microsoft Office.

Fast-forward to 2013, the Translator app for Word now allows users to select any text and get an instant translation. It is even estimated Office users translate over 1.3 million characters each hour.

“Speech is, by and far the most natural form of interaction – and it makes a lot of sense for us to combine the great research we have done in speech technology with the world class machine translation work we are doing,” says Vikram Dendi, whose Microsoft Research Machine Translation team does the lion’s share of the behind-the-scenes work powering the machine translation technology behind Bing, SharePoint, Office, Yammer, Lync, and many other Microsoft technologies.

Furthermore, Bing translator is now used daily in 187 countries, more than 80,000 developers are using Microsoft’s Translation API, and every day, millions of users use the Bing Bar to instantly translate Web pages.

The world is a big place, but advancements in language translation make it feel a little smaller every day. How about you? Have you translated your life recently?

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