Skype Translator: Universal Translator Begins Preview (English-Spanish For Now)

Skype Translator UI

Skype Translator, the near real-time translation feature in Skype, which was announced in May and for which the preview sign up started in November of 2014, is now available. Those who signed up for the preview back in November, and those who are on Windows 8.1 (or Windows 10 Technical Preview), can now voice and video chat in English and Spanish in close to real time.

In addition to the voice translation between English and Spanish, more than 40 languages are available for IM conversations. A sample video provided by Skype:

Per Microsoft, this is a project that has been over ten years in the making:

Skype Translator is a great example of the benefit of Microsoft’s investment in research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era. Skype Translator is the most recent and visible example.

On the Skype Garage blog, they explain how the Skype Translator technology works, simplistically:

It is interesting that the blog states how Microsoft has learnt colloquial language usage by being the translation service for social media sites like Facebook. It is clear that whatever deal Microsoft made with Facebook and Twitter to supply the translation services on those sites, was not just to be the translation service, but also to learn from the data and improve other products in their portfolio and fine tune products like Skype Translator.

Another nuance mentioned in the blog post is that the translation appears almost as a third person because based on research, they know customers “who are used to speaking through a human interpreter are quickly at ease with the situation”.

Although there will be kinks in the service, this is a bold new product that can truly help break barriers in communication around the world. Also, given that the service relies on machine learning which in turn gets better as there appears more data to work with, Microsoft and Skype urges everyone to try the service and provide feedback.

Sign up now at this page.

Skype Translator Early Preview Now Open for Applicants

Skype Translator, the almost magical real-time translation technology built into Skype that was demonstrated by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Skype Corporate Vice President Gurdeep Singh Pall in May, is finally available. More details about Skype Translator are available here.

In what the Skype Blog calls an “early preview”, this technology will let users of Windows 8.1 computers and tablets (initially) in a limited number of languages (obviously). Since it is an early preview, the program is not completely open for everyone to sign up. Register here to sign up for the preview if you have a PC or a tablet running Windows 8.1.

Here’s how Skype describes the product:

Speak another language without learning another language. Simply set up a Skype video or voice call with someone who speaks another language to you and start talking.

* Your conversation is translated into their language in real time.

* And what they say is translated back in your language.

* An on-screen transcript of your call is displayed.

* Instant message chats in 45 languages can be translated.


So, as simple as a normal Skype call. No special software or plugins needed. Of course, if the language you care about is not available today, you can make a note in the registration so that they can prioritize the next languages per the interest expressed during the registration process.

Also, Skype Translator is free right now, but we don’t know the pricing once this product becomes final.

Here’s a demo of the Skype Translator from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference:

ConveyThis Helps You Offer Your Customers A Feedback Form in their Language

The internet has opened a window for everyone. From buyers to sellers, everybody from all over the world is into it. English is the language it speaks or is best at. However, there is no denying of the fact that any individual is more comfortable with his/her mother tongue. The all-encompassing WWW however faces a great challenge to bridge the language barrier between two users who speaks in two different languages. As the global market is growing more and more dependent on the web this specific problem needs to be addressed.

The feedback form any company uses to improve its services based on user notes is a key area that ConveyThis, a multi-lingual feedback form creator (and also a website translator), wishes to reform. As per the developers’ words,

ConveyThis can be used just for its Feedback Form in one language if wanted, but the real difference is how it helps solve the language gap online. Over 90% of people are more likely to buy products from websites that are localized into their own language. And more than 80% said they wouldn’t even consider a product which didn’t have localized marketing materials.  With more and more users of other languages logging onto the internet, it is becoming more and more necessary to cater to those users, and not just English-speaking ones. Our goal is to provide people with a free, all inclusive solution to localizing their websites for other language viewers.

As inferred, the form is targeted towards businesses who wishes to value feedback from its non-English speaking customers/users. Now the whole discussion boils down to the credibility, efficiency and ease of use offered by the product.


Sign up for a free account and you are good to go. Create a form and tune it to your preferences. You can show the form in 13 popular languages (Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) depending on the language of majority among your site’s users. You have choice to tie a form to any domain and also let the translated feedbacks be sent to your email. Simple and straight.

ConveyThis comes from Translation Services USA, known for its innovation in translation services and popular services like Ackuna Cloud Translator, Translation Cloud etc. The efficiency commanded by Translation Services USA can hardly be denied once you take a look at the clientele that includes heavyweights like Merrill Lynch, McDonalds, Barclays, Walmart, Disney to name a few. Considering that and the ease at which the feedback form can be created (and embedded) anyone can hardly say no to ConveyThis. True, it’s not one of the feedback forms out there packed with features, but it does what it promises to.

Facebook Quietly Rolls out the “Translate” Button

After Google integrated the “translate” feature into its social network, which allows users to translate posts and comments into 50 different languages, Facebook, as usual has followed the footprints of Google+, and quietly announced the launch of “translate” button – powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

Facebook Translate - Powered by Bing

The new in-line translation feature allows users to quickly translate content or comments on pages using Bing Translate. Prior to the launch of this feature, most users on Facebook relied on third-party services like Google Translate to help them understand and communicate with users who speak other launches. The translate feature on Facebook will now eliminate the pain to go to Google Translate, and users will be able to translate a comment or page by simply clicking the translate button, which is placed next to the ever-popular “Like” button.

When a user translates comments by clicking the “Translate” button, an “Original” button appears in place of the Translate button, which allows users to switch back to the original language.

Facebook Translate

However, it is still unclear as to how many languages the translator supports. So far, it is known that it supports English, Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese language. And the button only appears for users with their language set to English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Taiwanese and Chinese-Hong Kong.

How to Activate Translate on Facebook

1. Click on Account on the top right hand side of your page and  select    Use Facebook  as a Page.

2. Click on Edit Page on the top right hand side of your page.

3. Click on Your Settings on the left side of the page.  You’ll have four choices to pick from:

  • Admin, community, and machine translators
  • Community and machine translators (default)
  • Machine translators
  • None
Activate Facebook Translate

However, at times the translator displays an error message – “There is no translation available for this story at the moment, whenever a language is not supported. As Facebook mentioned, users will have the opportunity to add their own translation for a post or comment by opting-in to using in-line translation. Once the user has provided the translation and if the translation receives enough positive votes from other users, then the translator will replace it with the Bing translation and the same will appear each time someone clicks the Translatebutton for that specific post.

Create Multi-lingual Content for Wikipedia with WikiBhasha

Wikipedia is one of the world’s largest and perhaps the biggest crowd-sourced information repository. However, it is heavily English-centric. Today, Wikipedia has more than 14 Million articles in over 270 languages. Wikipedia lists 3.36+ million pages in English, while a long tail of the bottom 200+ languages constitute a collective 2 million articles. WikiBhasha helps the process of enhancing non-English Wikipedia content, and provides an easy to use, intuitive interface to create local language content without the user ever having to leave the Wikipedia site.


WikiBhasha is multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia and enables easy and quick translation of articles from English to more than 30 other languages that are supported by Microsoft’s Machine Translation system and Microsoft’s Collaborative Translation Framework.   WikiBhasha is much more than a translator and also allows users to create new articles from scratch. The browser based application features a UI layer that stays on the target language Wikipedia for the entire content creation process. It enables Wikipedia users and contributors to explore and source content from English Wikipedia articles, translate the content into a set of target languages, and use the content with user additions and corrections for contribution to the target language Wikipedia.

WikiBhasha—Wiki,signifying its community-oriented approach; Bhasha,a Sanskrit word meaning language—was developed by Microsoft Research India. It started as a research prototype with a text-based interface. The team behind WikiBhasha is led by A Kumaran, Research Manager in the   Multilingual Systems Research group at Microsoft Research India.

WikiBhasha might open the doors to a whole new world of content translation into languages that machine translators now ignore. The goal is to enhance the Wikipedia content, as well as increasing availability of multilingual content.

Google eBooks Gets New Features – Translate, Define And Search

Google integrated a contextual based menu that lets you translate, define and search a selected word for eBooks, available from the Google eBookstore.

Derek Lie, Software Engineer at Google states,

When bookworms stumble across a word we don’t know, we face the classic dilemma of whether to put the book down to look up the word or forge ahead in ignorance to avoid interrupting the reading experience. Well, fret no more, readers, because today you can select words in Google eBooks and look up their definitions, translate them or search for them elsewhere in the book from within the Google eBooks Web Reader—without losing your page or even looking away.

By adding these features, Google certainly has made reading ebooks easier than ever before.

Here’s how you can use these features. Double-click or highlight the word that you want to look up and a pop-up menu appears with the following option: Define, Translate, Search Book, Search Google and Search Wikipedia.


By clicking Define, the pop-up now displays a definition of the word via Google Dictionary.

Google eBook Define


You can translate a single word or several sentences to any of the languages Google offers.

Google eBook Translate


You can also search for the selected text within the ebook itself or across the web.

Google Translates Wikipedia In Hindi, Guajarati, Kannada, Telugu and Arabic

Earlier today, I tweeted "I visit almost 15-20 Wikipedia page on any given day, without it I would definitely be lost, its the 2nd Google for me" and everything about it true. My first go-to for information has almost always been Wikipedia, and the fact that Wikipedia articles are available on the first page of Google search results has also played a big part in it.

Wikipedia Articles Language Graph

Wikipedia is available in multiple languages, however, it is still not available in Indian and Arabic languages which makes it difficult for non-English speaking Indians and Arabians to find information. For the past few months, Google has been working with volunteers, translators and Wikipedia folks across India, Middle East and Africa to translate more than 16 million words on Wikipedia.

The result is there to show as several Wikipedia articles are now available in Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Swahili, Tamil and Telugu. Google has used search data and Google Trends data to identify the words which needed translation and used their Translator Toolkit to translate articles in the above languages.

Google plans to add more translations to Wikipedia in its attempt to make one of the best information resources more accessible. Anyone who is interested can volunteer and join in the translation efforts to make Wikipedia more accessible to users.

(Google Translate Blog via Techmeme)

Translate Foreign Language RSS Feeds To Your Language

Language barrier can really be a pain while communicating with people, likewise the web is also made up of several websites which are not in your native language. So would you skip reading interesting content, just because it is in a language you do not understand.

Most likely the answer would be yes, however, there are several ways to translate web page content, one of involves Google Translate, but what if you want to subscribe to a RSS feed of a website in a foreign language?

Turns out that there are several ways in which you can translate RSS Feeds and then subscribe to them in your own native language. I will list out a few resources using which you can translate RSS feeds to your own language and then subscribe to them in your RSS reader.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Combine and Mashup Multiple RSS Feeds

Google Reader Translation

Google Reader Translate RSS Feed

If you are a Google Reader user, translating feeds to your own language is a piece of cake. Just subscribe to the RSS feed you want in Google Reader and click on the "Feed Settings" button. From the available options, select "Translate into my language" for the foreign language feed. That’s it, Google will use the Translate API to translate the feed to the language you have in your account settings.

Yahoo Pipes

Yahoo Pipes Translate RSS Feed

Yahoo Pipes is one of the most innovative piece of software ever created. It allows you to mashup RSS feeds and create a single one. In addition to that, Yahoo Pipes also offers several other functionalities, one of them being the ability to translate RSS feeds to your native language.

Webware has detailed instructions on how you can translate a RSS feed to your own language. Head over to this link to learn the trick.

Ed Note: The Babel Fish translation operator is deprecated, you will find it under the Deprecated options.

Feed Language Translation

Feed Language Translation

Feed Language is a RSS feed translator which is powered by the Google AJAX API and uses Google Translate API for translating feeds to and from 52 languages. To create a feed, just enter the URL of the RSS feed and select the language combination.

Feed Language will create a new RSS feed which will contain the translated content. You can then use the new RSS URL to subscribe to the feed in your RSS reader.

Mloovi – RSS Feed Translator

Mloovi is a free tool which translates RSS newsfeeds from and to 52 languages using Google Translate. You can sing up for a free account and translate RSS feeds to your language. The converted RSS feeds will contain ads from Mloovi.

That’s it, using the above tools or services you can get through the language barrier with ease and keep up with the latest news on your favorite websites.

Translate Content On Your Desktop Using Air Translate

Language barriers are usually overcome using translators, in person or as a service. We have told you about several tools which allow you to translate Word documents, translate PDF files and documents, use an  instant messenger for translation and a free desktop translator.


To add to that list, we came across and application called AirTranslate, which is based on the platform. AirTranslate makes use of the Google translation engine to provide you with a desktop tool to translate content on your desktop.

Techie Buzz Verdict

techie-buzz-recommended-software[3] Adobe Air applications are platform independent, which means that you can run this app on any OS which supports Adobe Air. Since this translator uses the Google Translation engine, it provides translation for more than 50 languages.

Another interesting feature about this app is that it will automatically use the text from the clipboard and add it to the translate text box. This will save you some trouble of copy pasting text into the interface.

Overall this app provides a neat and simple interface to translate content from one language to another.

Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Download Air Translate

Google Translator Gadget For Translating Your Website

If you write your blog in one language, don’t expect only people who know that language to stop by. Some visitors to your website may not understand the language you write in.

In such cases translation tools help those readers to convert the webpage into a language they understand. This makes reading information much more easy for them.

There are several ways in which you can offer translations to your users. If you are looking for a even better tool, Google has just announced a website translator gadget that is definitely much more smarter than the regular ones right now.

To install the website translator gadget to your blog, visit this page and copy the text to the header of your template.


After you have copied the text to your template upload the file to your server for the changes to take effect.

Once the code is in place, Google will automatically detect the users language based on the browser settings and display an option to translate the page to their language.


Once they click on the translate button the webpage will be translated without the user leaving your site. Google Translate currently supports translation between 51 languages making it a good fit for webmasters with traffic from several countries.

Translate your website with Google [Official Google Blog]