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Microsoft Translator live feature
Help and FAQs

Translator help and FAQs

Want to have real conversations with people across different languages even if you can’t speak their language? With the Microsoft Translator live feature, your device becomes your own personal universal translator.

Want to have real conversations with people across different languages even if you can’t speak their language? With the Microsoft Translator live feature, your device becomes your own personal universal translator.

How to get started with the live feature

How to start a live conversation

  • Download the Microsoft Translator app for Android, iOS, or Windows 10
  • On iOS and Android, open the app and tap the multi-person live feature icon. In the Windows app, click the Conversation tab.
  • Tap Start or Start conversation
  • Enter your name and your language, and tap Enter
  • A QR code or conversation code will display where people can scan the code using their device or manually enter the conversation code to join the conversation.

How to join a live conversation

  • Download the Microsoft Translator app for Android, iOS, or Windows 10
  • On iOS and Android, open the app and tap the multi-person live feature icon. In the Windows app, click the Conversation tab.
  • Join a conversation by entering the conversation code or scanning the conversation’s QR code
  • Choose a language and enter the conversation.
  • Join the discussion by pressing the microphone icon and speaking, or by typing directly into the text box. Translator automatically translates all comments into the user’s language – even if other users are speaking in a different language.
  • Please note that you will not be able to speak or type from your device if the Host mutes all participants. Once you're unmuted, you will be able to speak/type.

FAQs: Starting and joining conversations

1. What's the difference between starting a conversation and joining a conversation?

By starting a conversation: a user creates a new conversation with a unique code which can be shared with others. Other participants can use this code to enter the conversation in the language of their choice.

By joining a conversation: a user inputs a conversation code to join an ongoing conversation with one or more people in it.

2. What browsers and devices can I use to participate in a conversation?

We support the following browsers:

- Microsoft Edge
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Safari

Users can also use the Microsoft Translator app on iOS, Android, and Windows to participate in a conversation. Download the app here.

3. Why am I required to sign in to start a conversation?

To avoid abuse of this feature, you're required to log in with a Microsoft account, Facebook, or Google to verify that they are a real user. No user information is retained from these authentication services.

4. How can I invite others to my conversation?

You can invite participants to your conversation by sharing the five-letter code or the QR code assigned to the conversation.

Participants can scan the code or manually enter the five-letter code. See the above section "How to join a live conversation".

5. I'm trying to enter a conversation using the five-letter code. Why do I see the "invalid conversation code" error?

Troubleshoot in the following order:
- Did the host of the conversation lock new participants from joining? If so, this is the message that will appear on screen.

If the host has not locked out new participants:
- Make sure the five-letter code you entered is correct
- Verify the conversation is still active. A conversation ceases to exist when the conversation host ends the conversation or if there are no participants active in the conversation.

FAQs: During a live conversation

FAQs: During a conversation

Conversation hosts

1. I'm giving a presentation or a lecture. What settings should I use?

Turn on the Presenter mode toggle in the live feature Settings pane while giving a presentation. This will unmute your microphone for the duration of the presentation.
If you are the conversation host, turning on Presenter mode will also mute other participants to prevent interruptions during the presentation.

2. How do I prevent others from entering the conversation?

If you are the conversation creator, you can prevent new participants from entering the conversation.

- Within the conversation, tap the gear or three-dot icon to access the Conversation settings
- Select Presenter Mode to switch microphone to "always listening" and mute all other participants.
- Select "Lock conversation" to prevent new participants from joining.

3. How do I prevent others from speaking during my conversation?

If you are the conversation host, you can mute individual participants by:
- Tapping the Conversation settings sub-menu
- Scroll to participants list, tap the three-dot icon, and select "mute" from the overflow menu next to their name and avatar

If you are not the conversation host, you cannot mute individual participants.

4. How do I remove unwanted participants during my conversation?

If you are the conversation host, you can mute individual participants by
- Tapping the Conversation settings menu
- Scroll to participants list, tap the three-dot icon, and select "remove" from the overflow menu next to their name and avatar

If you are not the conversation host, you cannot remove individual participants.

5. Can participants view conversation history prior to their entry into the conversation?

No. New participants can only see the conversation that takes place after they join. Prior history of the conversation is not visible to new participants.

Conversation participants

6. How do I speak in a conversation?

First, make sure your language is one of our supported speech languages. Check out our language list here.

If speech is supported for your selected language:
- Press and hold the space bar to activate the microphone button. When the microphone is green, it's active and listening. Releasing the space bar will mute the microphone again.
- Press-and-hold the microphone button on touch screens, and speak while holding the button, or
- Click the microphone button with your mouse to activate the microphone.

7. Why am I unable to speak in the conversation?

Troubleshoot in the following order:

- Make sure your language is listed as a speech-supported language in the drop down list. Check out our language list here.
- Are you on iOS using Safari on iPhone or iPad? If so, there are technical limitations on these devices that inhibits websites from accessing their microphones. If you're on an iPhone or iPad using the Safari browser, you won't be able to use our speech features, even if a speech-supported language is selected.

If your speech language is supported, and you're not using Safari on iPhone or iPad:

- Confirm you clicked yes when your device or browser asked for microphone access to use Translator. Without the permission to access your microphone, you won't be able to use our speech features.
- Verify you haven't been muted by the host of the conversation. If the host is giving a presentation or wants to prevent interruptions, they might have muted participants from speaking.

8. Why do I repeatedly see "disconnected" messages while in a conversation?
Users will often see "disconnected" messages on account of poor internet connectivity. If you are repeatedly seeing "disconnected" messages while in a conversation, try switching to a different internet network or try switching from a cellular network to WiFi to resolve the issue.

Usage

How many participants can join a conversation at one time?
Up to a 100 participants can join a conversation at one time.

How long can a conversation go?
A conversation can last up to 4 hours. At the end of the 4 hours, you can recreate a new conversation to continue talking.

How do I end a conversation?
If you are the conversation creator, leaving the conversation or closing the browser tab will end the conversation for all other participants.

If you are not the conversation creator, you cannot end the conversation for other participants.

Can participants return to a conversation?
Yes, if the conversation is still active, a participant who has left the conversation can return to the conversation using the conversation code.

I'm a business owner. How do I install this product at my business premises?

Contact us to learn more about how you can install this product at your business premises.

Why do I need to use a headset to use this product?

A headset provides a close-talking microphone that produces a higher quality of recognition for the user's speech and is less likely to pick up noise from your environment.

Using a headset, a lapel microphone or a bluetooth microphone will result in the best quality of speech recognition and therefore have improved translations compared to a laptop or a PC's default microphone.

How do I get my language supported?

We add new languages periodically. In the process of adding a new language to the automatic translation system, the most important learning material is existing high-quality translations—the same text in two languages.

A significant amount, typically 1+ million words of this type of text, is needed to build a reasonable-quality automatic translation system for a particular language pair. Find out how machine translation works.

If you have access to this type of text, or to a community committed to adding a new language, we offer free use of the Microsoft Translator Hub. Languages such as Hmong, Maja, Otomi, Welsh, and even Klingon have been added to the Microsoft Translator service by using the Hub.

To see an example of how a community can use the Microsoft Translator Hub you can watch this Hmong community video.

Still need help? Contact us

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