Machine Translation Introduced to Office 2010

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on March 31, 2010

Microsoft is playing all their cards in the world’s largest game of automatic machine translation.

Microsoft incorporated their translation feature into Microsoft Office 2010 which also extends to Outlook 2010. This is ideal for folks who receive e-mails that may need translation. No more copying and pasting into third party translation websites here!

Outlook 2010 has three translation options with a drop down menu which offers:

  • Translate Item - translates the entire message body and the default browser is automatically opened to return the output.
  • Translate Selected Text - translates highlighted portions of the message and the output is displayed within a research pane to the right of the body. The research pane is updated when new text is highlighted.
  • Mini Translator - the translated output is displayed in a mouse-over, pop-up window.

Currently, Microsoft Translator is the only option available for translating messages within the Outlook 2010 application. Overall, Microsoft is trying to keep it simple for users to have options when it comes to translating text. They hear the voice of the public and are responding by finding a simple way to translate e-mail messages in the text body.

Machine translation is an excellent tool for a basic understanding of a message; however there are limitations with automated translators such as when converting slang, technical terms or new words.

Topics: Machine Translation, Translation Technology