Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

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01introducingtbot   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While ChattingIf you’re marketing a product or a service, there’s no better way to connect with users than speaking their language. Also, in this age of web freelancing and social networking, we are likely to have non-English speaking contacts. As Saikat described before, you can try to learn the lingo using LiveMocha. You can also use any of the Top 4 Online Translation Services that Maria reviewed, when you want to translate published content. But what about real-time translation?

At the outset, let me confess that machine translation usually sucks. You’re much better off with human translators any day. But what do you do for real-time chat? Till now, one had to use a different IM client like MeGlobe, to chat in a foreign language. Now, you can use Microsoft’s TBot. No installation required!

Microsoft has an impressive array of translation tools for users, webmasters, and developers, like Live Translator, but the release of Windows Live Messenger Translation bot (TBot) last year is still not widely known. Using TBot, you can chat with others in up to 13 foreign languages, or even chat with TBot itself to practice learning a foreign language. What’s more, you do not actually need to use Windows Live Messenger. You can use any IM client you like, as long as it supports the MSN protocol. Let’s see how you can use TBot in 3 easy steps to chat in a foreign language.

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Step #1: Add TBot to your Contacts

To get started, you will first need to add TBot to your contact list.

02aaddcontact menu   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

From the Live Messenger toolbar, select the “˜Add a contact’ option as shown above, and add “˜mtbot@hotmail.com’ as the contact address.

addtbotcontact   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

Click “˜Send Invitation’ on the next screen to add TBot to your contact list. There is no need for any personal message. You should now see “˜Translator’ as one of your available contacts as shown below:

02btranslatorincontacts   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

That’s it. You are all set!

Step #2: Invite TBot to a Conversation

When you want TBot’s translation services to help in a conversation, click the “˜Invite’ menu in the conversation window.

03invitemenu   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

From the contact list that appears, select “˜Translator (Available, Agent)’.

04invitetbot   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

TBot enters the conversation and asks you to select the target language.

05invitedtbot   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

I chose Russian as an example, and typed “˜12′:

06selectedtargetlanguagemessenger   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

To check out the list of TBot’s commands, you can enter “˜TBot ?’:

08tbothelp   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

Step #3: Chat in a Foreign Language

For the sake of this post, to imitate two people chatting, I used two different IM clients – Windows Live Messenger and Pidgin. Let us suppose I’m English Dude with Live Messenger, chatting with Russian Gal who is averse to installing any Microsoft software and thus uses Pidgin on Linux. Russian Gal uses the “˜TBot change’ command to select Russian as her Source Language:

07selectedtargetrussian in pidgin   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

With TBot all set to translate at both ends, both of them now chat. This is what English Dude sees in his Live Messenger:

10mahendra with russiangal in livemessenger   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

While Russian Gal sees the following in her Pidgin client:

11mahendra with russiangal in pidgin   Translation For MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting

As you can see, English Dude and Russian Gal are having an engaging conversation with the help of real-time translation by TBot.

TBot has his own profile in Windows Live Spaces, where you will also find a mini-FAQ. If you’re traveling in a foreign country, add TBot to Windows Live Messenger on your Windows Mobile device to get a free Translation Assistant with you!

Have you tried any other real-time translation software? How was your experience with TBot? Do let us know in the comments!

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12 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Aibek

I speak Russian and can say that although the translation is not great it’s a damn useful tool.

Jackson Chung

Yup, I was just going to say that it isn’t very accurate or “real life” but still it’s better than nothing.

Where is the translation based from?

Reply

Giselle

The bots of Google Talk are better: pt2en@bot.talk.google.com: Portuguere -> English
en2pt@bot.talk.google.com: English -> Portuguese

Probably there’s other ones en2’anotherlanguage’@bot.talk.google.com

Reply

Jose Rodriguez

Hello Mahendra,

I thought I’d let you know that you can also access your MSN buddy lists through (meglobe.com) along with your Yahoo and AIM accounts as well. Thank you for mentioning us!

Mahendra

@Jose: Yes, I was aware of that, and also that MeGlobe has an in-built learning mechanism that takes input from users’ corrections. The beauty and emphasis of this post was to highlight how you can use translation with your existing IM client of choice.

Reply

Tamara

It is definetely an interesting tool, however even by looking at samples of what was translated it is no different from machine translation and has tons of mistakes leading to misunderstanding and confusion. It’s helpful to use it in everyday conversation if you do not know the language, but make sure to translate important messages and ideas with live translator, like Prime Language Services: PrimeLanguageServices.com No program can substitute a live translator. If you do use the program, try to avoid slang and words with versatile meaning, e.g. instead of Gal type Girl.

Reply

faisal kalim

Hi! This is just amazing! Even though I am myself a translator (working with ) I did not know about it. Will surely spend quality time trying it out. Thanks a lot!

Reply

Gill

Does TBot translate English to Turkish? Can’t see the option in the list of languages.

Mahendra Palsule

Gill: No, it doesn’t at least at present. It supports all the languages supported by Bing Translator: http://www.microsofttranslator.com

Reply

ayanleh

hi ??

Reply

spaceface

I’ll wait for Google Wave to launch instead.

Reply

terry

i dont see any thing saying invite to let someone in it was working before now it dont work and also it does not say translator available
agent only tbot 2 alpha so can you tell me how to fix this problem

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