Windows Live Translator Beta

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Description

A beta for the Windows Live Translator is now available. On the surface, it may look a lot like Altavista's Babelfish, or Google Translate, but there are some interesting features born out of Microsoft Research that are new to online translation. Try out the Bilingual Viewer by putting in the URL www.expert.ru and choosing "Russian-English". You'll see an interesting side-by-side comparision between the original and the translated page and some controls to change views at the top. One of these controls will translate only the text you mouse over, or show the original text on mouse hover, which is very convenient for those who aren't completely fluent and just need a helping hand in the translation.

Sinitic languages, or ones that use ideographic writing systems can be incredibly hard to translate. As a test I compared the Chinese version of Wacom's Bamboo product page in Live's Translator to Google Translate, see for yourself:

Live:
Bamboo has displayed the pen input function which well Windows the Vista operating system, Office 2007 and in Mac OS strengthen. It unified closely with these system's in pen input function, has provided digital ink tools and so on pen or glimmer light pen, easy on documents, electronic forms and demonstration slide prominent demonstration and increase digit annotation; Even may in the demonstration process for the slide increase annotation, cause the demonstration process to have interactive and the vitality; May also use the hand-written text, the signature, the schematic diagram and the doodle entrusts with the personalized characteristic for the email content.
Google:
Bamboo good play Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Mac OS enhanced pen input function. With these systems in close connection with the pen input function, providing pens or ink Yingguangbi and other digital tools, easy in the document, spreadsheet and presentation slides and added that the figures highlight the Notes; Even in the course of the presentation slides add notes to demonstrate the process more interactive and lively and ; can also use handwritten text, signatures and graffiti for the draft e-mail content to the personalization features.

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Duncanma
    While I realise that machine translation is never going to be a perfect substitute for having a human do the work, I would be interested in knowning what people thought of the translated version of some of our posts here on on10.net...

    Please check it out by grabbing one of our blog posts and running it through into your native langauge... and let me know what you think (appreciate knowning the language in question as well, since I'm sure it will work better for some than others)

    any and all feedback is appreciated!
  • User profile image
    Lord Zimbu

    Is there an option to dynamically translate entire webpages so you can navigate them?

    Also.. many hero points to the site that can produce a translator that does pictures also. Often some sites have most of their text in common photo formats, with an OCR that repaints those photos with translated text.. the job would be properly accomplished.

    Will check out the site anyway.. hopefully it's worth the effort.

     

    Ok. It's more readable than Google.. but it doesn't alter the sentence structure. I mean I don't expect it to but that's another reason why online translation doesn't work. Good job anyhow. Do much appreciate the varied view options, not that they work (can't seem to get translation with hover original to work)

  • User profile image
    Lord Zimbu

    Is there an option to dynamically translate entire webpages so you can navigate them?

    Also.. many hero points to the site that can produce a translator that does pictures also. Often some sites have most of their text in common photo formats, with an OCR that repaints those photos with translated text.. the job would be properly accomplished.

    Will check out the site anyway.. hopefully it's worth the effort.

     

    Ok. It's more readable than Google.. but it doesn't alter the sentence structure. I mean I don't expect it to but that's another reason why online translation doesn't work. Good job anyhow. Do much appreciate the varied view options, not that they work (can't seem to get translation with hover original to work)

  • User profile image
    sokhaty

    Side by side and top/bottom views look nice and promising.
    Hover feature is weaker that the Google one. Google seems to allow proposing a better translation, something the WLT is lacking.
    "Is this translation useful?" link is not sufficient, 'cause it does not seem to preserve any info on the translation one is trying to comment on. Plus, it's missing from the "translated with hover original".

    Russian-English translation is rather sloppy. It's not quite clear, how you are planning to take it from Beta, if you are not collecting direct feedback on the relevant context. (Google seems to be marginally better on some idiomatic Russian constucts, but same or even sloppier on translation of general terms).

    Overall, it's good Microsoft is coming up with on-line translator. You should integrate it with Encarta English disctionary (in addition to provide a separate interface for text/page translation).

  • User profile image
    sokhaty

    Side by side and top/bottom views look nice and promising.
    Hover feature is weaker that the Google one. Google seems to allow proposing a better translation, something the WLT is lacking.
    "Is this translation useful?" link is not sufficient, 'cause it does not seem to preserve any info on the translation one is trying to comment on. Plus, it's missing from the "translated with hover original".

    Russian-English translation is rather sloppy. It's not quite clear, how you are planning to take it from Beta, if you are not collecting direct feedback on the relevant context. (Google seems to be marginally better on some idiomatic Russian constucts, but same or even sloppier on translation of general terms).

    Overall, it's good Microsoft is coming up with on-line translator. You should integrate it with Encarta English disctionary (in addition to provide a separate interface for text/page translation).

  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    The Live translator is almost identical to the Babelfish translator at this point.  I've run several German phrases through them both already and they come out identical.  With some more development time, however, Windows Live Translator could really be something.

  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    The Live translator is almost identical to the Babelfish translator at this point.  I've run several German phrases through them both already and they come out identical.  With some more development time, however, Windows Live Translator could really be something.

  • User profile image
    tjatchannel​10

    This is a terrific tool but I would like to see a "clear button" to empty existing text.

  • User profile image
    tjatchannel​10

    This is a terrific tool but I would like to see a "clear button" to empty existing text.

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