Microsoft includes Zulu in Azure Cognitive Services Translator

Microsoft Translator launches Zulu as the next African language to be translated.

Microsoft has added Zulu to its Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services Translator, enabling the translation of text and documents to and from any of South Africa’s official languages ​​across the Microsoft ecosystem of products and services.

Zulu joins Swahili as the latest African language to be supported, and more of the continent’s most spoken languages ​​are planned to be added as part of Microsoft’s mission to create meaningful cognitive products and services. that improve accessibility and local engagement.

Integrations in Microsoft’s ecosystem include Microsoft 365 for text and document translation, Microsoft Edge browser and Bing search engine for full web page translation, SwiftKey for message translation, LinkedIn for user-submitted content and the Translator app to have multilingual conversations on the go. , among others.

“This support – which has been added for more than 100 languages ​​and dialects globally – means more people are able to connect and language will become a seamless feature of technology use.

The Translator aims to break down the language barrier between peoples and cultures around the world. “To achieve this, we have continuously added languages ​​and dialects to this service while ensuring the translation quality of the supported languages ​​using the latest Neural Machine Translation (NMT) techniques,” Madyibi said.

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The company, through its Microsoft Research unit, first developed machine translation systems more than a decade ago – and has constantly developed and improved these systems and techniques, adopting NMT technology as artificial intelligence (AI) was evolving and migrating all machine translation systems to neural systems. templates to improve translation fluency and accuracy.

Working with partners in language communities who can help collect data for specific languages ​​and who have access to human-translated texts also helps overcome the challenge of obtaining enough bilingual data to train and produce a model. automatic translation. This network of partners helps collect bilingual data, consult with community members, and assess the quality of the resulting machine translation models.

These ever-improving capabilities also allow businesses to extend their global reach, enabling them to communicate with customers and partners in any language and localize content and applications quickly, reliably and affordably. It further helps to break down internal communication barriers between employees from different countries.

“As the benefits and value of translation support become more evident, particularly for African languages, we will see capabilities deployed for more of the continent’s languages ​​- ultimately helping to break down language barriers and helping more people to connect with each other and with technology in a way that empowers them to do and achieve more, Madyibi added.