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Windows announced Bing Translator for Windows today. It’s a touch-enabled version of Bing Translator for Windows Phone that is now available for Windows 8 laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Bing Translator will translate more than 40 languages on web pages, in images, or in what Microsoft calls an augmented reality translation via a live video stream from your device’s camera:
The app, which Microsoft says is based on years of research into advanced machine learning, is free. It does use Internet access, but because that can be difficult or expensive when traveling, users can download offline language packs for the most common languages, such as French, Chinese, German, Italian, and Spanish. More offline languages are coming soon, Microsoft says.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Bing Translator is that with this app, Microsoft has enabled fully-system-integrated translation.
“The Share Charm lets you quickly translate highlighted text in any Windows 8 app; with Snap View you can multitask while browsing, chatting, or more by snapping Bing Translator to the right or left of your screen,” Vikram Dendi, Microsoft’s director for Bing Translator wrote in an announcement.
And, of course, when on the go with your Windows tablet, you can also use Bing Translator to speak the translation out loud in certain languages, allowing you to communicate back to people even if you don’t know their language. Google Translate for Android has had this feature for several months now.
Bing Translator supports 42 languages — 43 including Klingon — eight fewer than Google Translate.
Here’s the full list:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong Daw, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Klingon, Klingon (Kronos), Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese
Image credit: Microsoft