One-way Translation options in Outlook


Sometimes we wonder what happens in Microsoft development meetings because the software we get from those discussions seems so out of touch with reality or even sense.

Today’s example comes from Outlook for Windows and it’s curious ‘one way’ translation feature.

Office for Windows has good language translation options, though Microsoft continues to ignore the pressing need for Klingon support <g>.

Outlook’s email editor can translate between languages quite easily.  From the Review tab, pull-down the Translate options for outgoing messages:

This is a simple extension of Word’s language support.

No incoming message translation

There’s no translation option for incoming messages.  It’s the one place where people would need a translator; to convert an arriving email in an unknown language into something you can read.

Surely the decision makers at Microsoft must realize that?  If they don’t understand the need for incoming message translation, there are plenty of paying Office customers who can explain it to ‘softies.

You’d expect there to be a translation pane which takes the message or selection can converts it into your preferred language.  Microsoft has the tools to do this but hasn’t bothered.

It would be even nicer if the translation could be added to the original email so the conversion only has to be done once.

The workaround is to select the email message and paste it into an online translator.  We suggest using Google Translate, if only as a small protest against Microsoft.


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