Microsoft Translator adds Assamese, strengthens support for 12 Indian languages

Aims to fill the gap in end-to-end language support for Assamese in India

New Delhi, September 30, 2020: Today, Microsoft India has announced the addition of Assamese as the latest Indian language in Microsoft Translator. The Azure-based service will now provide real-time translation and transliteration support for the language. Powered by Azure Cognitive Service Speech, users will also be able to translate speech into Assamese text or to translate Assamese text into another language with speech output.

Microsoft is currently the only cloud service provider to support Assamese translation. Strengthening its position in democratizing the access of information in the native languages, Microsoft has taken the lead in providing end-to-end communication support for Assamese overcoming the complexities in Machine Learning models used to develop the communication functionalities. With this latest addition, Microsoft now supports 12 Indian languages viz., Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

Assamese–besides being the official language of the state of Assam–is spoken by more than 14 million people across India’s north eastern states. With its inclusion, Microsoft Translator will now allow over 90% of Indians to access information and work in their native/preferred languages, making computing language-agnostic and more inclusive in the country. It can help general users interpret real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, and documents. Companies can leverage it to globalize their business and strengthen customer outreach. Microsoft Translator can be availed across Windows, iOS, Android, and the web.

Sundar Srinivasan – General Manager – AI & Search – Microsoft India, said, “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization to achieve more. Microsoft has a responsible approach to AI, a key principle of which is inclusiveness. Breaking language barriers is a key step in enabling inclusion of more people and organizations to utilize technology to achieve more. As part of our mission to remove language barriers, particularly in India, we are happy to announce the release of translation for Assamese to add to the set of 11 Indian languages already supported.”

The service is available on Microsoft Translator app, add-ins, Office 365, Bing Translator, and through the Azure Cognitive Services Translator API for businesses and developers. Users can translate Assamese text, supported by more than 70 languages, for their apps, websites, workflows and tools with Azure Cognitive Services Translator. Businesses can also avail multi-language support such as translation for e-content, e-commerce product catalogues, product documentation and internal communication, among others.

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Bringing Deep Neural Networks to language translation

Microsoft has been using Deep Neural Networks to develop language models for translating and transliterating complex Indian languages. Deep Neural Networks can even manage minute language nuances like gender (feminine, masculine, neutral), politeness level (slang, casual, written, formal), and type of words (verb, noun, adjective). Microsoft continuously improves the translation models in line with tech advancement and usage, and releases newer and improved versions to all its users in a transparent manner. You can learn more about Microsoft Translator here.

Microsoft and Local Language computing: Since the launch of Project Bhasha in 1998, Microsoft has been pioneering local language computing in Indian languages for over two decades. This has enabled users to input localized text easily and quickly using the Indian Language Input tool. Microsoft also supports email addresses in multiple Indian languages across most of its email apps and services. Through its global Local Language Program (LLP), Microsoft provides people access to technology in their native language.

About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 11,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian start-ups, businesses, and government organizations.

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