Microsoft rolls out translation bot for Live Messenger

Microsoft announced today a new translation bot for Windows Live Messenger, allowing users to translate strings of text to one of 12 different languages by simply sending a message to the bot. Users can take take advantage of this feature by adding "mtbot@hotmail.com" to their contact lists.

If you've got a friend in your contacts that a speaks a different language, you can invite them to a chat, include the mtbot, and translation will be performed for you on the fly. However, the team behind the project warns "because machine translation isn't perfect, slang especially will give the engine trouble."

Currently available are English to/from: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian (to English only), Spanish. Also available are Chinese Simplified to/from Chinese Traditional. They plan to add additional languages over the next few months.

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