Microsoft India has announced that Microsoft Translator will now offer real-time translation in five additional languages – Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, and Punjabi.
Microsoft Translator allows users to translate real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, documents and more using the Translator app for Windows, iOS, Android and the web. This takes the total number of Indian languages supported to 10, including Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
Language translation is a core part of Microsoft products and services. These languages are available now on all Microsoft Translator apps, add-ins, Bing Translator, Microsoft Office and through the Azure Cognitive Services Translator API for businesses and developers. Microsoft provides APIs on Azure that organizations can use in their products to conduct their business across the country and globally in different languages.
They will also be rolled out to the new Microsoft Edge browser and other Microsoft products, like the SwiftKey keyboard, in the coming days.
The incorporation of Deep Neural Networks into translating complex Indian languages brings more accuracy and fluency to translation. While Statistical Machine Translation is limited to translating a word within the local context of a few surrounding words, Deep Neural Networks has the capability of encoding more granular concepts like gender (feminine, masculine, neutral), politeness level (slang, casual, written, formal), and type of word (verb, noun, adjective). Using multilingual neural machine learning, the Translator team has leveraged data from languages belonging to the same family to build and refine these models and greatly enhance their quality.
Microsoft has been consistently working to provide local language computing in Indian languages for over two decades since the launch of Project Bhasha in 1998. Through its global Local Language Program (LLP), Microsoft provides people access to technology in their native language.
Microsoft claims that with the recent announcement, the service will now allow over 90% of Indians to access information and work in their native/preferred languages. Sundar Srinivasan, General Manager, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd. believes that the latest cutting-edge machine learning tech will help democratize access to information for everyone in India.