Microsoft today announced that its Cortana personal digital assistant can make instant translations in nearly 40 languages in Windows 10 in the U.S. and China. The capability to translate words and even entire sentences comes courtesy of the Microsoft Translator app.
Support for the native translation in Cortana in Windows 10 will arrive in other countries “in the near future,” the Microsoft Translator team wrote in a blog post on the news.
This is an interesting way for Microsoft to make Cortana even more compelling as an alternative to, say, Apple’s Siri, which currently only works on smartphones, not on desktop. Cortana is one of the biggest new features in Windows 10. Rich translation, then, is just another feature with which Microsoft can pitch Windows 10.
You can get Cortana to translate by first saying, “Hey Cortana,” then saying the words you want her to translate and your target language. For example, you can say, “Hey Cortana, translate ‘Where is the nearest bookstore?’ into French.” Alternatively, you can type into the search box, “Translate where is the nearest bookstore into French.” Cortana will then show you a translation onscreen (and say it out loud, too) or, if she’s unable to do it, run a web search with your query.
Here’s the full list of languages that are currently supported: Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Klingon (pIqaD), Korean, Latvian, Malay, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Welsh.