LL move to continue built-in Viewer translation

As most know, changes to the Google translation services are coming. The v1 service was depreciated in May of this year while free access to v2 service was discontinued for “new” application requests on the 24th August (access switching over to their paid service), with all existing access to the free service started prior to the 24th August due to be discontinued from December 1st.

The Lag – via Oz Linden mulled over alternatives for a time, via JIRA, and this has resulted in two options for continuing to use an in-built translator in the future, by using either the paid-for Google Translate API, or by using the Microsoft Bing translation API.

The new translation options are not live as yet, but can be seen in the latest Development Viewer (3.2.2 (224260) or above or the latest Beta Viewer (3.2.1 244227 or above and which also has the new Viewer UI incorporated in it).

Accessing the Translate Options

To access the translation options, go to PREFERENCES -> CHAT and click on CHAT TRANSLATION SETTINGS. This will open a further floater:

New translation service options

As can be seen, the Google translate option is retained – but you’ll have to sign-up and pay for the service yourself.

The Bing option provides a means to continue with a free translation service, but will require you register for a WindowsLive ID, if you don’t already have one.

Using the Bing Translator Service

To obtain a Bing AppID:

  • Click on the Bing AppID link in the floater. If you have a WindowsLive account and are logged in, you’ll be taken to the application registration page
  • If you don’t have a WindowsLive account or are not logged in, you’ll be taken to the sign-in registration page
  • Once you are signed-in or have gone through the registration / verification process, you’ll be taken to the application registration page. This isn’t a terribly helpful page, but essentially:
    • In Application Name type “bing” or “bing translator” (although I get the impression just about anything will work)
    • Fill-out the rest of the required fields and accept the terms & conditions
  • Clicking SAVE takes you to your Applications page – this may take a while to load, (and may even time-out – did on me the first time) – but it should eventually display the application name you gave, and an ID – highlight and COPY this
  • In the Viewer Chat Translations Settings floater:
    • Click the Bing Translator API radio button
    • Paste your copied AppID into the Bing AppID field.
    • Click OK
  • Close the floaters and away you go!

Note that as this is a Development Viewer, as such details on the Chat Translation floater may change between now and it reaching a formal release (work was still on-going last week).

8 thoughts on “LL move to continue built-in Viewer translation

  1. The 2,000 free Bing translations is a bit of a joke, as it is easy to go through that many in a single night. And at $0.10 per chat line after that, or 20 cents if auto detect is used, don’t expect many to use it. Not after the first bill!

    Google at $20 for 1 million characters is a better deal, or you can actually pay a little more but much less in Lindens by renting translations.


    1. As far as I’m aware the Bing API is free. From the Bing Translator API web page:

      “Among the many cool free APIs that you can get from Bing is one that offers Machine Translation of any of your content. In addition to the translation widget that we covered in another article, which automatically scans your page and translates content that it finds, you get a finer control over what is translated. So, say for example, you want to keep your site in English, but someone sends feedback or makes a comment in another language, and you want that language to be translated, then the API can be used.

      In this article you’ll see how to do that. You’ll get a free Bing AppID, which is needed to access the API, and then you’ll build a simple site that uses the API to translate content sent to you by your users.”

      If charges have indeed been introduced, LL will need to update the option in the Chat Settings, as they’ve done withe Google option.

      Shall be watching with interest!


  2. Bing/Microsoft translator offers 2 Million characters completely free every month. Pricing is better than Google too – $10 for 1 million characters.


  3. Hm. This is bad news for me, who also offer a translation HUD (mostly used by those who don’t use a translator-enabled viewer). I’ll have to see what other options there are…

    This one looks nice and friendly, and comes from academia (thus it’s free): https://www.letsmt.eu/


  4. Bing offers 2,000 ‘transactions’ for free. Veronica’s information is out of date. In June 2011 it was 1,000 a day for free. On Sept 14, 2011, Bing changed to 2,000 a month.

    Foe the history of all this, see https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-1577

    For current pricing, see Azure marketplace: https://datamarket.azure.com/dataset/1899a118-d202-492c-aa16-ba21c33c06cb

    They say “Each page of results returned from a query uses a single transaction(tx) and will count toward your transaction limit. A page of results may return up to 100 records, but will never return more than 100 records.”

    Each language detect would also count for auto detection devices. Each translation also counts. $40 for 4,000 = 10 cents per line of chat. A single gesture with 10 lines of spam can cost $1.00 US using Bing.

    Gwyneth is correct that there are other approaches. The few alternatives will require an intermediate server or a self-hosted server.

    Bing does not let you directly pull data into SL using LSL. The content type is wrong for the http request and LSL will not accept it. So any ‘Viewer 1 Bing translator’ must bounce off another server, thus exposing your chat to at least the server owner, and possibly others. This is unsafe. Thus the only safe Viewer 1 possibility is Google, which costs $20.00, or rental of translations from a provider who rents their key.

    The only possible Bing translator that is safe is a Viewer 2 version. I have one prototyped. I will limit it to the 2,000 per month in code. There is just no way is anyone going to be happy with the bill they get if they go over 2,000.

    For latest news on my version, see http://metaverse.mitsi.com/Secondlife/xlate/


    1. So you’re saying as implemented in the current V3 Beta and Dev, translations using Bing are capped? If so, this needs to be made clear to users.

      P.S. For some reason WordPress marked your post for moderation – may have been the link included. WordPress seems to be getting pernickity, given I’ve not changed any default settings. My apologies for any wait you had for your post to appear.


      1. ‘Capped’ is not the correct word, perhaps. They offer a 3 month for free, 2000 transaction plan. What happens when you run over? I am not sure. I suppose it depends on whether they have your credit card on file.


  5. For now, and until I get a reply from a few companies which I contacted to know about their pricing and services, I’m sticking with Yahoo! Babelfish.

    Like Fred says, this requires an intermediate gateway. Yahoo! doesn’t even provide an API, much less a reasonable one like Google did. And, of course, the translations are horrible (that’s why nobody uses Babelfish and Yahoo! still offers it for free) and just handles a handful of languages, unlike Google’s 70+.

    I think I was getting spoiled by Google. I humbly admit that even in some professional translations I used to simply copy & paste the text from Google Translate, and then revise the text at leisure; for some kinds of content (e.g. journalistic reviews, academic things, legal things) the machine-translated text was not that terrible. Yahoo! Babelfish throws us back some 10-15 years to the early days of machine translation, where all you can do is laugh at the results.

    But, well, it’s free.


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