Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!

We are pleased to welcome Yahoo! Babel Fish users to the Bing Translator family. We have been working closely with our friends at Yahoo! to make this an easy transition, and Bing Translator is a natural upgrade to the experience with Yahoo! Babel Fish. We support all the languages you used with Babel Fish, and provide a superset of all the features.


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You will notice a welcome banner indicating your transition to the Bing Translator site from a Yahoo site when you arrive at Bing Translator.  I am pleased to introduce to you some of the great features that our translation service offers starting with a brief introduction to the technology behind the service.

Our translation technology is built on over a decade of world-class work done at Microsoft Research, and is widely used by a variety of applications and websites. You may have already encountered our technology when you used the translation features within products like Microsoft Office, Bing, Windows Phone, Facebook and Kindle. We serve billions of translations every day across 38 different languages, and we continually add to the list of languages and features. We also have a fast growing developer community.

Text translator: You can translate text snippets between the supported languages on the home page. If you aren’t sure about the language of the source text, you can always leave it as “Auto-Detect” and we will detect it for you. You can also listen to the translation for a sub set of languages by clicking the speaker icon. You can search the web with translated text snippet, or email it. We welcome your feedback on the translation quality.


Webpage translator: Simply type a webpage URL into the text entry box on the home page to translate a webpage. You can use the bi-lingual viewer functionality and switch between various views, including the popular side-by-side view. As you navigate through the site, the webpage translator continues translating.


Website widget: We delivered the first no-code, in-place translation widget several years ago and have improved it further since then. The Microsoft Translator widget is a simple to use web control that can make your site available in multiple languages without any coding, while keeping your users on your site. The unique collaborative translation functionality allows you to customize the translations delivered to your site by partnering with trusted users and allow your community to provide suggestions and corrections, to ensure the translations are always best suited to your content and always up-to-date.


You may also find it interesting to explore the language labs, where you can test new prototypes and demos from the minds of our team’s researchers and engineers. Our blog is here, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and if you have any questions or need any technical support you can use the forums.

You can also directly reach out to us at mtcont@microsoft.com if you have any other questions.

Once again, welcome! We are very pleased to have you.

Vikram Dendi, Director, Bing/Microsoft Translator (@vikman)

Updated (5/30): Fixed some links

Comments (91)

  1. Liz says:

    🙁 I love babelfish! I've been using it since it was part of Altavista. The 'new' is not an improved!

  2. Chris says:

    I was using yahoo babelfish yesterday on the yahoo page and it was working great.  I came back today to see that it has been changed.  So I have done a little testing on the same exact things I was looking at yesterday and today the translation came up incorrectly.  It was not the same one as yesterday.  I had always used babelfish because it had done the best job translating the most accurately.  I hope that is not going to change and that you will fix the issues you now have.

  3. John says:


    I have been using Babelfish for (Centuries) a very long time and use it almost daily, I already love the new look, feel and smooth operation of the new Babelfish / Bing

    I am retired in France and find the translation service so useful in the preparation and dealing with daily life, but mostly as a confidence boost to my learning of the language.

    Well done and thanks

  4. umesh says:

    i like babel fish

  5. Srini says:

    It's SIMPLY AMAZING tool for the web. Congrats to both Bing+Yahoo

    teams that made non-English sites pretty simple!

  6. Thank you for your comments. Any transition from a familiar user experience to a new one is difficult, and we do hope that you will give Bing Translator enough time to grow in familiarity. I would like to address a couple of questions that have been asked:

    1) The site shows up in a langauge I don't understand. How can I turn it to English

    A: Click on this link: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/?setlang=en-us. Translator will remember this until you delete cookies.

    2) Why are the translations different?

    A: The technology that powered the Babel Fish site is different from the linguistically informed statistical machine translation technology used by Bing Translator. In recent years, research results have shown statistical methods provide better quality and improved faster than most other older approaches. This is one reason why you would see a difference in the way things get translated. Not only that, you would likely see some changes in how Bing Translator translated content over time – as we continue to improve the translation quality.

    3) Why was Babel Fish retired?

    A: The decision to retire Babel Fish was taken by Yahoo! and we subsequently worked with Yahoo! to provide a transition path for users. Please submit feedback on the site here at the blog (we read all comments), or in email to mtcont@microsoft.com.

    4) I miss a specific feature, or feature of Bing Translator is not an improvement over what I was used to.

    A: We would love to hear specific feedback about how we could improve particular features to better fit your expectation. Feel free to email us, or post here (or our forums) suggestions to improve specific features of Bing Translator.

    5) I am a webmaster, and the Babel Fish widget for my web site doesn't work anymore

    A: Please sign up for a new widget at http://www.microsofttranslator.com/widget. The dimensions of the widget are slightly different.

    While we too have mixed personal feelings about the retirement of such an iconic translation site, we at Bing Translator would like to keep the spirit of that experience alive working together with you.

    The Bing Translator team

  7. Ebenezer says:

    We are grateful for all babelfish is doing.

  8. anashenwrath says:

    A warning would have been nice! I was on Yahoo Babelfish yesterday and couldn't figure out why it kept dragging me to bing when I tried to go there today. Translations seem ok on my end so far (hard to tell accuracy since I don't speak the language I'm translating). But I do miss the little fish mascot… I don't know, babelfish was a clever name and cute. Hehe, I suppose that's not really important, but I'm sad to see it go.  

  9. Will says:


    I have been using Babelfish for four years, to translate between English and French.  It seems that the Bling translator does not use the same algorithm, since it failed to translate two test phrases correctly.  Would it be possible to use the algorithm from Babelfish?  Even Google's translator is better than today's response from Bling.

    Thanks and best regards,


  10. Will: Can you send us the phrases that Bing Translator didn't translate properly? You can email us at mtcont@microsoft.com.

  11. DC says:

    Oh ya, by the way, it doesn't seem to auto detect the language keyed in even though it says auto detect. I have to manually select language.

  12. @DC — The Microsoft Translator widget is fully customizable.

    I'd recommend you visit the widget site here: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/widget and there's a wizard there to create the HTML needed for the widget, including making it work in 'auto' mode.

    If you want to override the look and feel of the widget, it can be done in JS and CSS…

  13. L says:

    Lovely! I'm with Bing since Live Translator and love it! Keep the good news coming!

  14. NOO says:

    NOOO now i can't bypass the block on the internet to play games at work T_T

  15. Scott says:

    I was hesitant at first. I am taking a university spanish course now, and this thing has not failed me, where Babelfish consistently did so. I put whole phrases in here, and it translated them perfectly. I would always get some weird Spanglish from babelfish.

  16. Marco says:

    Babelfish "retired"? Gone for ever? Can't we have both???

  17. Willie says:

    Is there a version in English? And if so how do you change it… It only comes up in Chinese for me.

  18. رامى عوض says:

    صراحه الترجمه تمام

  19. G says:

    I have just put in a word in Italian to be translated into English and it incorrectly gave me the Italian word as the translation

  20. Hi G,

    Would you mind giving us your Italian example that is not translated?  Thanks.  Microsoft Translator Team

  21. Gataman says:

    Please make the width of the widget variable as with the Babelfish one. 200 pixels is too wide to fit in my webpage sidebar. http://gata.wikidot.com/

  22. Eddie says:

    Babel Fish is cool-  I was hoping though that there can be an English to Tagolog (Philipino)

  23. Aleta says:

    Hi.  Got a shock being redirected, I'm also a hundred year old + Alta Vista Babelfish user, but I'm willing to give Bing a go.

    Just got a faulty translation on a sentence that really isn't that hard. I'll happily forward it to your team.

  24. Philippe says:

    I loved the name Babel Fish – too bad you didn't retain that as say bing Babel Fish – sorry Mr Douglas Adams…

  25. Laura says:

    Really irritated that there's no longer a option to translate from Croatian. I am trying to learn, and now I don't have one of my tools to translate. Thanks.

  26. In fact this reminds me of Internet Explorer 6 which, in the "Help" menu, has an option called "Netscape users"… More than 10 years has passed, but what a similar feeling they are!

  27. Sweet n Lovely says:

    Apparently, Microsuck is filtering & deleting comments, and only posting the "favorable" ones.  Not that I'm surprised…

  28. keith says:

    there is a reason babelfish wasn't changed for so many years.

    This is just to justify someones job

  29. Mark Busby says:

    Why do you not give use a choice whether to stay with babelfish or not? Why have I been dragged to microsoft translator. I was quite happy with babelfish. I am NOT happy with companies that try to dictate to me what I can and cannot use.  markbusby@ymail.com

  30. Mark Busby says:

    Where Chinese is concerned, why not, in addition, to Chinese script, add pin yin – so that people have some idea of the pronounciation of the words.

  31. William says:

    I don't like it, will use Mozilla browser with a Firefox add-on for my translations.

  32. GB says:

    Really? I miss Babel fish. Babel fish could correctly translate things. Now nothing is 100% accurate. Oh and by the way, would you guys at Bing mind adding Malagasy to the languages. That is what they speak in Madagascar?

  33. Kevin Conner says:

    Your microsoft translator doesn't give the romanized phonetic pronunciation of the translations.  This makes your translator 100% useless to me.

    Thanks for ruining a good thing, assholes.

  34. Fernando says:

    Even the sample translated page is incorrect:

    Educated but unemployed

    FORMADOS pero desempleados

    I think I will no longer use your services.

  35. Chris Clemson says:

    Shame the name babelfish wasn't kept, but I like the arrows to switch the translation around.

    I have a feature request – some languages have both "polite" and "informal" versions of sentences – eg. French, Japanese, Korean etc.

    Would it be possible to have a radio button for some languages where you can select the destination "formality"?

    When I translate from English to French, it always uses the "vous" form, which is great, but it would be helpful if the "tu" form could be selected so that the resulting verbs are correct.

    Thanks for keeping it a free service,


  36. JeriAnn Vincent says:

    In reading the comments, I find similar issues: I entered "What is your name" in English, and asked for the German translation. It came back as "What is your name", yes, in English.

  37. Tia says:

    I hate that it seems that microsoft is taking everything over. I also hate the fact that I have to rely on Microsoft to help me with my translations now. Will this still be here in ten years or will microsoft deem it defunct the way they did their .lit program and leave me out in the cold with no support after using it for a decade or more?

  38. CLAUDIA says:



  39. Willard says:

    This is NOT an improvement, it is a serious downgrade

  40. roca says:

    Liz is right   Save the fish

  41. Reme says:

    Babelfish was actually a better and more reliable service than Bing, which couldn't translate its way out of a wet paper bag.

    Another extremely horrible decision by Yahoo, I will never use another crap service from this wreck of a company ever again!

  42. Jay says:

    Glad to see Microsoft's alternatives to Google services improve!

  43. peta rose says:

    not a patch on the old one!  Cannot even translate french food anymore!

  44. Susan says:

    Oh 🙁  I liked babel fish.

  45. Sarah says:

    Bing crashes EVERY time I use it whether I am in Crome or IE….I want babel fish back 🙁

  46. Deann says:

    Your Japanese translator neither works with, nor offers, romanji. I entered a term in English to get the Japanese translation; it gave it in hirigana and katakana, neither of which I read. I entered a Japanese phrase in romanji and it repeated it for the "translation." ATT, I'd have to say your translator fails.

  47. Joey says:

    but it fail to translate a german site to english

    example: http://www.amoretro.de/…/mediavision-pro-audiospectrum-pas-dual-yamaha-opl2-8-bit-isa.html

    i could provide screenshots as evident if someone would ask.

  48. yeokyuik says:

    I've been with Yahoo babel fish since many years ago.

    But new Bing is not yet! But I like it.

  49. Susanne says:

    Bing dears… I don't really care what translator I use but I went out of my way to use "Babelfish" because it was called "Babelfish".  I was very loyal to the name.   Please keep the name.  "Bing translator" doesn't make me smile for no apparent reason.

  50. CarMarPR says:

    I like the new Babelfish/Bing….

  51. Here are answers for a good portion of the questions raised in the comments to this post:

    Q: The site language comes up wrong:

    A: You can change the language of the Translator site to English using http://www.microsofttranslator.com/?setlang=en-us. We will remember the language until you delete cookies.


    Q:  What happened to the Yahoo! Babel Fish site?

    A: After careful consideration, Yahoo! has transitioned its Babel Fish translation services to Bing Translator, which offers additional languages and features for users.  Microsoft is pleased to welcome Yahoo! Babel Fish users to the Bing Translator family. Yahoo! and Microsoft have worked closely together to ensure as seamless a transition as possible from Babel Fish to Bing Translator.


    Q: Did Microsoft buy Babel Fish from Yahoo!?  

    A: No. Yahoo! has simply transitioned from Babel Fish to Bing Translator for translation services.


    Q: The Babel Fish webpage translator widget doesn’t work anymore. What is my alternative?

    A: Yahoo! Babel Fish users will need to upgrade to the Microsoft Widget. Since current Babel Fish users were operating under the Yahoo! terms of use, people will need to accept the Microsoft terms of use and install the widget. 


    Q:  Are all the languages I used on Babel Fish supported by Bing Translator?  

    A: Yes, Babel Fish supported 11 languages, and Bing Translator supports those 11 as well, and 26 additional languages.


    Q:  I have a complaint/comment/concern related to this transition, or something that used to work and now doesn't anymore.

    A: The decision to retire Babel Fish was taken by Yahoo!, and Microsoft and Yahoo!subsequently worked together to provide a transition path for users of the Babel Fish site. Any comments, or concerns related to Bing Translator can be addressed with Microsoft at mtcont@microsoft.com.


    Q:  Why are the translations different?

    A:  The technology that powered the Babel Fish site is different from the linguistically informed statistical machine translation (SMT) technology used by Bing Translator. In recent years, research results have statistical methods can provide better quality and be improved faster than most other approaches. This is one reason why you would see a difference in the way things get translated. Not only that, you will likely see some changes in how Bing Translator translates content over time – as we continue to improve the translation quality.


    Q:  I miss a specific feature, or feature of Bing Translator is not an improvement over what I was used to.

    A:  We would love to hear your feedback about how we could improve particular features to better fit your expectations. Feel free to email us at mtcont@microsoft.com  or comment
    here with suggestions to improve features of Bing Translator.


    Q: The new web page widget has different dimensions than the Babel Fish one.

    A: Indeed the Translator widget has different dimensions. You may need to slightly adjust your page layout. You can also deploy the Microsoft Translator API directly (http://api.microsofttranslator.com) to get full control over the appearence and experience. This is the same API that the widget is using, but has no restrictions on the layout.

    Q: How can I translate a whole site by using just a link?

    A: You can translate a whole site with a URL like this:


    where a= is followed by the URL to translate. The a= parameter must appear last.

  52. Hi Joey, that German site you mention translates fine for me. Please send a mail to mtcont@microsoft.com with a screenshot, and the browser and operating system you are using.

    The Microsoft Translator team

  53. For anyone who has read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which you should have) the name Bablefish perfectly discribes the concept of the translator. please bring the name back.

  54. Christian says:

    très intéressant !

    ne pourrait on pas avoir un traducteur automatique pour la messagerie instantannée (messenger, etc)

  55. Christian, voici les instructions pour utiliser la traduction dans les messages instantanés : http://www.microsofttranslator.com/…/bot.

  56. Martin says:

    Hola me gusta la traduccion ya que es muy importante para solucionar muchas cosas en la vidad diaria gracias saludos

  57. Dave Dooling says:

    Lousy. It translates schlieren, from German for streak (term used in optics) as Plymouth. Meaningless service.

  58. Hi Dave,

    I see it translating Schlieren just right:

    Ich hatte Schlieren auf der Linse.


    I had streaks on the lens.

    When you report a bug, please submit the sentence that shows the error.

  59. Dianne says:

    how can i add translate button to my tool bar?

  60. As a user of both Microsoft Translator and Babelfish, I am ok with the combination of services as long as Microsoft remembers to keep a tag on the service for Babelfish to remember the inspiration of the name From Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams had an inspired idea which created the name. en.wikipedia.org/…/Babel_fish_(The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy)

    RIP Douglas, we miss your insanely brilliant witt.

  61. Hi Dianne,

    Please visit toolbar.discoverbing.com/en-US and download Bing Bar.

    If you download the en_us version, you won’t see Translator button immediately.  

    You have to go Bing Bar Settings (the three dots at the right corner).

    Click the Settings, so that you’ll see [Apps].  Then, add Translator manually.

    Once you add Translator, you can just translate a webpage just by clicking Translator button.  

    Some FAQ for Bing Bar Translator is available from:


    If you’re interested in Translator on IE Accelerator, visit http://www.iegallery.com/…/205 .

    Hope that the above information is helpful.  Thanks.  Takako

  62. Ron says:

    I wish you would translate Latin. Why not?

  63. Zhlncm says:

    Not as good at technical translation. The old AltaVista actually appeared to "learn" very quickly by using the context of the overall text to provide the best translation (nuanced, and seemingly aware of the importance of context before providing the translation). So, for example, in a discussion about the machined surface finish of high precision pins, we are not discussing a ladies broach.  Yet, a ladies broach is what the Bing translator comes up with. Statistical methodology may be better as a universal solution. But I have now used the translator a couple of times, and it is apparent that it is not as aware of all the factors going into the use of a word as the old AltaVista translator was. I am sure it will improve with time……….But hopefully soon – as the bulk of translation work is usually for commercial/business purposes………..and can be very important for technical trades. Good Luck!

  64. Fartwrangler says:

    There is a feature I always wished Babelfish had; perhaps now it the opportunity to add it to "Bing".  It is this:

    When going from English (or a romance language) to Japanese or Chinese, it would be very useful to receive a result /transliterated/ into the roman alphabet, as well as the idiographs.  

    The idiographs are fine if one is translating for purposes of -writtn text only-, but occasionally an English speaker might want to get an idea of /how to pronounce/ a work in Japanese or Chinese.  To that end, a translitarated, or even phonetic result would be most useful.

  65. aaliyah says:


  66. aaliyah says:


  67. MAGGDIX says:

    genial el traductor ,el mejor de los que llevo probados,traduce al 100%,enhorabuena

  68. wqw says:


  69. Sandra Davis Barnett says:

    I love it.

  70. Nancy says:

    mmm I do prefer yahoo babelfish, seems like there are some issues with the new one!

  71. Lingua::Translate::Babelfish says:

    Are you going to end the Lingua::Translate::Babelfish backend access? We run a non for profit and educational service with it, in Brazil. Please Microsoft, don't let us orphans.

  72. Randall says:

    WOW!!! What a 1000% improvement over the Babel Fish translator. To hear the translation spoken with all the correct inflections is AWESOME.

    I use Microsoft OS/Office/Outlook Express from my home PC but, in general, I do not approve of their heavy-handed, monopolistic software practices but this… the BING Translator truly provides a service to the whole world that only Microsoft could bring forth.

    So… (gulp!) my hat's off to Microsoft on this one!

  73. To: Lingua::Translate::Babelfish

    Microsoft Translator has an API, which is free for translating up to 2 million characters per month: api.microsofttranslator.com.

    Use of the widget on your web site is also completely free: http://www.microsofttranslator.com/widget.

    Feel free to contact us at mtcont at microsoft.com if you need help with any of this.

    Your Microsoft Translator team

  74. Armando CY says:

    Excelente servicio , satisface nuestras necesidades inmediatas al momento ,desde cualquier idioma ,a cualquier Lenguage.

  75. العماوى says:

    تسلموا سباب

  76. pierre says:

    but it fail to translate a german site to english

    example: http://www.about-montreal-canada.com

    i could provide screenshots as evident if someone would ask.

  77. Hi pierre,

    Thanks for the report.  We’ll look into it.

    In the meanwhile, if you’re interested in web page translation, you can use Translator app on Bing Bar (which you can download from

    toolbar.discoverbing.com).  With Bing Bar, you can translate the site you mentioned without any problem.  Translator application on Bing Bar is useful for web page translation and is easy to use.  Takako (Microsoft Translator Team)

  78. heyob says:

    je vais utiliser ce traducteur pour ecrire correstondre en anglais avec ma famille

  79. MUSTAFA says:

    because bing translato work for me. .. Welcome to yahoo babelfish user.

  80. natalia says:

    este bing es excelente

  81. reza sahil says:

    I want to use translator Persian to English    

  82. Carlos Gois says:

    It's very good translator !

  83. Mohammed says:

    this is great 🙂

    thanks microsoft and yahoo!

  84. Нелли says:

    Жаль, что я плохо знаю английский( Но этот сайт мне помогает делать уроки ( я в 7 классе ). Спасибо всем)))

  85. loadedblood says:

    love the fish! This is something new and not really an upgrade!

  86. Its incredibly good 🙂

  87. I have done a little testing on the same exact things I was looking at yesterday and today the translation came up incorrectly.  It was not the same one as yesterday.  I had always used babelfish because it had done the best job translating the most accurately.

  88. enterbench says:

    I am retired in France and find the translation service so useful in the preparation and dealing with daily life, but mostly as a confidence boost to my learning of the language.

  89. fordconfess says:

    I like this

  90. swimlago says:

    Its fabulous

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