Basque and Galician added to Microsoft Translator

Today Microsoft is adding two new languages, Basque and Galician, to the list of languages supported by Translator, a Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service. Basque and Galician are both Western European languages spoken by 750,000 and 2.4 million people respectively.

Basque is a language isolate, meaning it is not related to any other modern language. Basque is spoken in northern Spain and southern France in a region that straddles the Pyrenees Mountains. Galician is spoken in northern Portugal and western Spain. It is a Romance language that is closely related to Portuguese. Both languages are co-official languages of Spain.

Break the language barrier

The goal of Translator is to break the language barrier so that people can communicate freely in their language of choice and be understood by anyone around the globe. Whether you are a tourist travelling abroad, recently moved to a new country, or trying to email someone on the other side of the world, Translator powers the tools that help you communicate when and where you need.

The Microsoft Translator app for iOS and Android is a multifunctional personal translator. With the Microsoft Translator app, you can translate text, voice, images, and conversations. Translator for Bing is also available to translate text quickly on the web. You can use the Translator feature of the Edge browser to read webpages from around the world, you can quickly switch between languages on your mobile device with SwiftKey, and use Outlook to communicate with people via email regardless of the language they speak.

Preserving endangered languages

In order to train new language models, Microsoft is collecting a large amount of bilingual training data. That is, materials written in the target language and another language. As many languages around the globe are dying, Translator is helping to preserve at-risk languages. Microsoft has worked with language communities across the world to collect and translate materials, and then create language systems. Through this they can ensure that these languages are recorded and preserved for generations to come.

Some of the at-risk languages include InuktitutMāori, and Yucatec Maya.

Anne-Marie Colliander Lind
Anne-Marie is an expert Translation Industry Business Consultant focused on Growth strategies, Sales Coaching & Training, and Social Media. She is a regular speaker at events around the world.


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