Machine Translation Tool Helps Digitally Connect 215 million Bengali People

19 January 2021
Machine Translation Tool Helps Digitally Connect 215 million Bengali People

Posted: 09/06/17

ADAPT Centre graduate and Microsoft researcher Dr Sandipan Dandapat has successfully completed the development of Bangla translation software for digital devices. Bangla is the 7th most commonly spoken language in the world with an estimated reach of 215 million people in Bangladesh and the Indian subcontinent. The development of the translation tool will enhance communications both locally and globally, enabling individuals and organisations to communicate quickly in a digitally connected world.

The technology works on operating systems Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, and on the web at: The newer languages on the app also offer a Microsoft Translator Live Feature, which allows users to take part in live text chat with native speakers in real time. Currently Bangla is supported in text, and the technology is available on Skype for Windows desktop through IM chat for real-time communication around the world. Bangla is now available for translation from over 60 other languages supported by Microsoft Translator helping to connect this region and its culture with the world.

The ADAPT Centre, a world-leading research centre focusing on digital content technology, has a specialist research team focused on machine translation (MT). The research being undertaken helps extend the effectiveness of all the MT system types across a wide range of languages and domains. ADAPT collaborates with a range of respected industry partners from large multinationals to subject matter experts (SMEs). It continues to seek opportunities to work with other industry partners in order to further diversify and strengthen its research, and identify new uses for the technologies under development.

“The linguistic diversity of the world demanded the development of the technology and my training in Machine Translation equipped me with the skills to complete the Bangla translation tool.  As businesses and web developers will be able to incorporate the translation language into their own technology using the Microsoft Translator API, they will be able to utilise customer support and web localisation for use during training and conversation, connecting them to a global audience. As Bangla is also my native language it was especially rewarding to have the opportunity to bring this project to completion,” said Dr. Sandipan Dandapat.

Speaking about the addition of Bangla to Microsoft Translator, Will Lewis, principal technical product manager, Microsoft Corp., said: “The development of the technology began from humble beginnings. Dr Sandipan Dandapat worked on the Bangla translation tool during an internship in Microsoft while working towards his PhD at ADAPT. A number of years later, after graduating from the ADAPT Centre in DCU, Dr. Dandapat was hired by Microsoft as a Machine Translation (MT) researcher in Bangalore and continued to work on developing MT for Indic languages. This allowed us complete the vision for the Bangla translation tool, which is currently available in Microsoft Translator.”

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