The ability to translate languages is a crucial requirement for organisations that must host meetings in multiple languages and collaborate with colleagues in different countries worldwide.
Microsoft has a few features that enable people to translate notes, Teams messages and even meetings.
Translate a Teams chat or channel message
This feature enables you to translate messages in Teams chat or channels to the language you have set in Teams. For example, if your language in Teams is English and someone sends you a message in French, you can translate that message to English.
To do this, click on the ellipsis next to the message and click translate:
If the conversation has been translated, you will see this indicator to the right of the time stamp.
You can return to the original message by clicking on the ellipsis again and clicking see original.
Turn on live captions to translate a meeting
You can now use Live Captions to translate your Teams meeting live. Live captions now support 27 languages and use AI-powered technology. When you turn on live captions in a meeting, they only apply to you and not the entire meeting. So only you can see the captions, and no other participants are notified that you have them on.
To turn live captions on in a meeting, click on the ellipsis in your meeting tool bar and scroll down to find the live captions button:
When the captions are on, you will see them at the bottom of your Teams window:
To translate the live captions, click the ellipsis on the bottom right of the Teams window and change the spoken language. Teams will then bring you a drop-down list of languages to choose from.
Choose your language and hit confirm. Teams will now translate the captions. In the example below I am speaking English but can see Dutch captions:
Pretty cool! You could be delivering a presentation in English and have participants from different countries translating your presentation live into several different languages simultaneously.
Translate your meeting transcript
During any Teams meeting, you can start a live transcription of the proceedings. The text appears alongside the meeting video or audio in real-time, including the speaker’s name (unless they chose to hide it) and a time stamp. Now, you can translate the transcription live.
To turn on the transcription, click on the ellipsis in your Teams toolbar and scroll down to start transcription.
This will open the panel on the right with the transcription. To translate it, click on the ellipsis at the top and select your language.
In this example, I speak English but translate my transcript into Italian live. You can download the transcript as a word document after the meeting.
Other translation features to check out
There are some other translation features I recommend you check out. OneNote has an immersive reader which enables you to translate whole pages to other languages. PowerPoint Live has a translation feature. Microsoft offers apps to help translate live meetings, for example, Group Transcribe and their translate.microsoft.com website, where you can do real-time translation during meetings.