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Yammer to introduce real-time message translation for 39 languages

Yammer is planning to add real-time message translation to its business collaboration platform by way of the Microsoft Translator engine, the Microsoft-owned enterprise social network said.

Message translation on Yammer will be available for 39 languages and the new feature is expected to be made available to Yammer Enterprise licensees in "late spring 2013," according to a press release posted on Microsoft's official blog.

Yammer, acquired by Microsoft last June for $1.2 billion (£790 million), is part of the software giant's Microsoft Office division.

"Removing language as a barrier to cross-company collaboration can be a competitive game changer for multinational organizations. It opens a world of possibilities," Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder and general manager of engineering in the Microsoft Office division, said in a statement.

"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."

Yammer has plenty of non-English speakers among its seven million users and is hoping to attract more when it brings message translation online, Microsoft said. Some 65 per cent of Yammer's user base is located outside of the United States, though the company didn't break down how many were non-English speaking.

ITProPortal got a sneak preview of the feature at a Yammer event in London earlier this week. But Microsoft described how message translation would work once rolled out to Yammer's enterprise customers and also posted a demo video of the feature.

"Whenever a Yammer conversation includes a language different from the user's default language setting, a translate button will appear below the initial post. Clicking translate will instantly convert the entire conversation, including related responses, into the user's default language. Clicking 'show original text' will revert the conversation back to the initial language(s)," the company said.