SharePoint Dragons

Nikander & Margriet on SharePoint

The SharePoint 2013 Machine Translation Service

SharePoint 2013 is an awesome product, but for some features we have to wait and see if they’re mature enough before reaching a verdict (SharePoint Apps will be great eventually, but are they in this release?), but there is one feature that just fails to enthuse us: the Machine Translation Service.

We’ve heard a presenter say on SPC 2012 that it’s all about translating words into foreign words, and okay, you might loose some context, but the foreign reader will at least be able to understand it. We’re pretty sure that this presenter only speaks a single language, because this is not what translation is all about. More than being able to translate the words, it’s about being able to capture the context of the original text. Did you ever run a real text thru a translator service? This could be a party game in its own right, because the garbage you get is incredible typically resulting in the most incomprehensible texts imaginable.

We remember doing a job for Intel Europe and they had a team of dedicated translators ready because normal translators weren’t able to translate technical content into something readable, the total opposite of a machine translator but that worked.

Is there anybody out there gaining real benefit from this machine translation service? We’d love to know!

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