Last year the Redwood, Calif.-based tech giant made its neural machine translation (NMT) technology available to everyone in order to expand the use of deep learning neural networks in its translation service. Now, a year later, the Microsoft Translation team is here with a plethora of updates such as 10 new languages for both the Microsoft Translator Text and Speech APIs.
The new language additions to the NMT systems brings the total of languages supported up to 21. The 10 new languages are Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, and Turkish.
Those languages join the already supported Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.
Although the full translation services are limited to these 21 languages, Microsoft has introduced hybrid translation when using only one of the two languages supported. This means that languages that aren’t supported should still see an uptake in accuracy. Microsoft accomplishes this because it uses English as a ‘pivot language’ so that even if you translate between two support languages such as Spanish and Swedish, the machine translations system usually translates Spanish to English, then English to Swedish.
Additionally, Microsoft aims to make it easier for developers to use NMT, by making it so that Chinese and Hindi translations to and from English are now using the NMT systems by default so developers can take advantage of this service without flipping a switch so-to-speak. This update will come to every language supported in the coming weeks and months.