Windows Has a Translator?

Pecan Sandies to Darren Straight, who discovered that Windows Live (as opposed to Windows Filmed-On-Location-Before-A-Studio-Audience) now has a translation service available, . It’s in beta.

The first thing I noticed is that the language offerings are not quite like Google Translate, with at least one translation pair (Dutch -> English) not available at Google. The second thing I noticed is the side-to-side translation. You put the text (up to 500 words) on one side and get the translation on the other side. Even when I couldn’t read a language, I could sometimes use this setup to pick up sentences and try to retranslate them or translate them word-for-word.

When you translate a page — actually the first page I tried refused to be translated. It was text (not Flash or anything like that) but nothing doing, Windows Live couldn’t translate it. (There’s a FAQ available if you run into a problem. The FAQ won’t fix anything, but might help you understand why something isn’t working.) The second page didn’t work either. Neither did the third or fourth. I finally gave up.

If you manage to get an entire page translated, you’ll find that the original page and translation are presented side-to-side, though there are layout options in the top right of the translation page.

I like this layout, and there are options here you don’t see at other translation services. But I never could get a Web page to translate, and I didn’t see dictionary translation like you’ll find a Google. Worth looking at, but can’t replace existing tools.

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