Exploring Microsoft Translator

While catching up on a few emails today, I came across a link for using Microsoft Translator in EDU.  The Microsoft Translator app has been around for over a year now, but I had not tried it out.  While downloading the app, I immediately thought about different ways the translator would be helpful…then I got distracted by the cold, snowy scene outside which caused me to drift off to vacation land – adventurous locations, cold (adult) beverages, and potentially non-English speaking residents.

There are three components to Translator, an add-in for PowerPoint + mobile application + in-browser application.

The Mobile App

The mobile app by itself is perfect for quick translations, getting help with a language course, or overcoming language barriers with others.  Not only does it do voice transcription, but also allows you to type a word/phrase or even take a photo of foreign words that will get translated.

Other functionality of the app allows two or more parties to join a chat session and communicate in their natural languages.  The app is available on both iOS and Android.

PowerPoint Add-in

The PowerPoint add-in will translate slides into a language of your choosing.  That alone is handy, but the best functionality is the transcription and subtitles that can be displayed.  The subtitles will be added to the slide deck in real-time as you are presenting on a topic.  This is perfect for the classroom, but also for multi-national companies, or even webinars that are broadcast to a diverse audience.

Combining the mobile app with this add-in, participants can also provide commentary in real-time that will be displayed on the slide deck.

Web Browser

Translator supports most modern browsers, and offers very similar functionality to the mobile application.  The browser can be used from a Windows 10 device, or from the built-in browser on your phone or tablet as well.

I will definitely be putting Translator to the “real world” test in the coming months.  If you haven’t already, give it a look!

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