Microsoft Translator Hub, a new translation tool launched today at the WPC 2012, allows people to customize translation and in some cases teach machines new languages. And, just like a person learning a language, the Microsoft Translator Hub learns and improves its translation as it receives feedback, says Micorosoft.
"Go ahead, teach the Microsoft Translator Hub a new language (perhaps Hmong, a language in danger of extinction) or teach it some specialized words in Spanish (say, agricultural or engineering terms) - it's entirely customizable," Microsoft stated.
The Windows Azure-powered Microsoft Translator Hub - used in combination with Microsoft Translator service - can help with translation across the Web, PCs and mobile devices. It enables people -- such as those who speak the Hmong language -- businesses, developers and partners to not only translate content, but build their own customized machine translation system.
Machine translation got a push a decade ago when then-CEO Bill Gates read a paper on machine translation written by a group at Microsoft already working on it, and decided it was an important area - one in which Microsoft should further invest. The "Translator is now translating billions of words a day and being used in more and more ways, inside and outside the company."
"Internet Explorer users have the option to translate any page they're visiting with the click of a button. In Lync, people speaking different languages can message each other with instant translation. Windows Phone users can take a photo of a sign or a café menu in a foreign language and have the words translated," Microsoft said.
Microsoft Translator is also used by businesses including Facebook, Trip Advisor and Twitter.
Developers and partners are also incorporating Microsoft Translator's application programming interface (API) to build even more translation tools and services.