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Microsoft Translator releases next-generation Neural Machine Translation technology

In early 2018, Microsoft announced the first machine translation system to translate sentences of news articles from Chinese to English with the same quality and accuracy as a person. Today, Microsoft Translator brings some of these research advances into production as it releases new translation systems for Chinese and German from and to English, increasing translation quality and expanding application scenarios.

Based on human evaluations using industry standard test sets, we are seeing up to 11% improvement in overall quality. The improvement is compared to our previous production API.

These improvements are a result of the research systems that achieved human parity translation on a commonly used set of news stories earlier this year, and which are now adapted to the production API. These include next generation neural net architectures and dual learning.

Here are a few examples of the improved quality for Chinese and German, to and from English:

German into English

Source: Jemand hat heute über diese Männer gewacht.
Old: Someone woke up about these men today.
New: Someone watched over these men today.

Chinese into English

Source: 该地区有不少房屋及车辆受损。
Old: There are many damaged homes and vehicles in the AREA.
New: A number of homes and vehicles have been damaged in the area.

English into Chinese

Source: But the latest simulation suggests Venus could have boasted a thin, Earth-like atmosphere and still spun slowly.
Old: 但最新的模拟表明, 金星可能会吹嘘一个稀薄的, 地球般的气氛, 仍然旋转缓慢。
New: 但最新的模拟表明, 金星可能号称拥有稀薄的、类似地球的大气层, 而且仍然缓慢旋转。


These improvements to translation quality for Chinese and German – from and to English – are available now on all Microsoft Translator apps, add-ins, Office, Translator for Bing, and through the Azure Cognitive Services Translator API for businesses and developers.

We will roll-out additional languages built on this advanced translation system starting early 2019.


How to try these next-gen NMT translation improvements now

Translator apps

The Translator app supports over 60 languages and 12 speech languages – including the new and improved Chinese and German language models. Test out these improvements for both speech and text by downloading the app for Android, iOS, and Windows 10.

Translator for Bing

Translate text and entire websites into over 60 languages and test our improved Chinese and German language models directly in your browser with Translator for Bing.

Translator API for developers

The Microsoft Translator API helps integrate translation support for any solution across all sectors from manufacturing, retail, gaming, education, financial services, government services, and many more.

To learn more about Microsoft Translator and sign up for the API, visit Azure Cognitive Services.



Read: Barriers fall as Microsoft’s speech and language technologies exit the lab

Read: How machine translation works

Check out Microsoft Translator and Speech Services

Learn how to customize your translations using Custom Translator