Post by Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada
Today, Microsoft is releasing Canadian French as a unique language option within Microsoft Translator, allowing users to select “French (Canada)” for Canadian French for translations to or from any of the more than 70 languages available in Microsoft Translator, providing a more inclusive experience for French-speaking Canadians.
This important milestone will allow users to add Canadian French text translation to apps, websites, workflows and tools with Azure Cognitive Services Translator so they can better communicate with the seven million Canadians who speak French as their first language. Businesses and developers can also use Azure Cognitive Services Speech, which combines Translator’s AI-powered translation service with Speech’s advanced speech recognition and speech synthesis, to add speech to speech or text to speech translation to their products.
European French has long been available in Translator, offering French speakers a way to translate formal language, but few people speak “formally.” Whether we’re speaking with colleagues, customers, friends or asking for directions from a stranger, most of us speak using “familiar” language, including local idioms and accents. Similarly, when we share on social media or IM with our social and professional circles, it’s common to use a more familiar tone. Now Canadian French-speakers in mixed language settings can more fully participate in conversations in the workplace, the classroom and in the community in the language that’s most comfortable for them.
As one of Canada’s two official languages, French is an important part of the fabric of our nation, and each regional dialect tells an important story about that region’s history. These local nuances mean that idioms that make sense in Montreal may not be relevant in Moncton or Winnipeg, so Microsoft worked with translators and consultants throughout Canada to produce models that could accurately translate Canadian French, regardless of whether it was from Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick or elsewhere. As we continue use to Translator, we will gather more data from Canada, and the tool will become more precise over time.
Canadian French is available now in the Microsoft Translator apps, Translator for Bing. It is also available now, or will be available within the next few days in other products with translation provided by Microsoft Translator such as Office and other add-ins.
Translate real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, documents, and more using the Microsoft Translator app for Windows, iOS, Android, and the web. Learn more
Globalize your business and customer interactions with text and speech translation powered by Translator and Microsoft Speech service, both members of the Azure Cognitive Services family. Learn more
In the classroom
Create a more inclusive classroom for both students and parents with live captioning and cross-language understanding. Learn more
For more information on Microsoft Translator please visit microsoft.com/translator.