By Winfred Kuria
People can now translate web text in Swahili language following Microsoft’s introduction of the translation option in collaboration with Tanslators Without Borders.
The Swahili language, used by over 150 million people in East and Central Africa, is the first native African language to be supported by the company’s automatic translation service.
Microsoft will integrate the Swahili language translation service across its products range including Bing, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, Cortana among others.
The translator, running on Microsoft cloud services, will see Lumia phone users and personal computers running on Windows translate any language to Kiswahili.
In addition, Microsoft will also introduce other apps to run on Android and iOS powered devices.
Microsoft is looking at community and global use of the functionality to veer away from the traditional human translator.
“Governments in the region will be able to make documents and information available at virtually no cost. In addition, both government and non-governmental organisations will be able to quickly communicate with locals, and most importantly, people will be able to communicate back and forth across borders for both business and personal purposes,” Said Microsoft’s Kenya country manager Kunle Awosika.
Through the use of the Swahili language translator web widget, organisations with online content will be able to add multi-layer language support to their websites.
Swahili will also be available as an instant messaging language option for real-time communication.
Developers will be able to integrate Kiswahili translation into their own products and apps through the Microsoft Translator API.