Teams – A translation capability is coming

Few years back, Microsoft has introduced a translator capability in Skype for Business.

Well, this feature is now coming to Teams, called Inline Chat message translation.

First it will be available for iOS devices on the Teams mobile application (deployment is scheduled to start late June 2020 for a completion by mid-July).

This seems pretty clear this will also be available on Android devices or for the ‘main’ Teams client on Windows, Mac or Linux.

In the interim, Teams administrator can already manage this capability by turning it on or off (it is turned on by default) by using the Teams Administration portal (https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/) or the Skype for Business Online PowerShell.

Using Teams administration portal

Logon to your Teams administration portal (https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/) and access the Messaging Policies

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Then either you edit an existing policy (like the Global one) or create a new one to turn on/off the option Translate messages

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Use Skype for Business Online PowerShell

If you want to use PowerShell you need to have first installed the latest version of Skype for Business Online PowerShell available at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39366

Then you need to run the below commands to connect to your tenant (if you are in hybrid mode please use an @<your tenant>.onmicrosoft.com account otherwise it will fail to connect) and then set the AllowUserTranslation option $true or $false (the connect command provided allow you to use a ‘basic’ or MFA authentication method)

Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector
$sfbSession = New-CsOnlineSession
Import-PSSession $sfbSession

Then get your existing Messaging Policies using; you can in the meantime check if the AllowUserTranslation option is turn on (True) or off (False)

Get-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy

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To turn it on/off use the command

Set-CsTeamsMessagingPolicy –Identity <identity of your policy> -AllowUserTranslation $false

User Experience

When your iOS device will get the updated version of the Teams mobile application, you will be able (if the policy allows it) to translate message by first accessing the Settings\General\Translation option to define the language to translate to

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Then you can press and hold a message you want to get translated by using the Translate message option

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Benoit Hamet
Benoit Hamet
Benoit is working on Microsoft collaborative technologies He has been awarded as MVP for more than 12 years Currently MVP on Office 365 after being awarded on SharePoint (2011-2012) and Windows client & server (2002-2007) Speaker at various Microsoft events (TechDays, TechNet seminars) and Quest Software He works on on-premises (Active Directory, RADIUS/NPS, Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint, SQL, Terminal Server, Windows client and Windows Server) or online (Azure, Intune, Office 365, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, Teams) technologies