Microsoft-owned Yammer has been relatively quiet since its acquisition by Redmond, but the company piped up today to announce plans to add instant message translation capabilities, which will allow multilingual collaboration on the “Facebook for the office.”
The Yammer team is tapping Microsoft Translator to power the translations, which is yet another benefit of Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer.
It’s relatively simple, and much like current auto-translation services you’d find on Google Translate (built into Chrome) or Airbnb, which has auto-translation for over 20 languages. Essentially, any time someone yams in a language that is not your default language, a “Translate” button will appear below the post.
Once you hit translate, the entire thread will be translated into your preferred, default language. This means that the initial post (whether it was a reply or a thread-starter) will be translated, along with any response messages that are added to that thread (past, present, and future).
Here’s what Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder and GM of Engineering had to say:
Removing language as a barrier to cross-company collaboration can be a competitive game changer for multinational organizations. It opens a world of possibilities. This is another example of Yammer’s accelerated innovation following the Microsoft acquisition — we’re able to use Microsoft Translator to quickly deliver additional value to customers.
Microsoft Translator supports 39 different languages. The company also claims that 65 percent of Yammer’s 7 million users do not live within the United States. Though the service has long supported various languages, this will allow for cross-language collaboration for Yammer’s clients.
Here’s a video of the translation in action: