Microsoft Translator API - Frequently Asked Questions

    General discussion

  • 1.       I want to use the Microsoft Translator API, how do I sign up and get started using the service?

    Sign-up to Windows Azure Marketplace to subscribe to the Microsoft Translator API service.  The step-by-step instructions are on the Get Started web page on the Microsoft Translator website at

    2.       What is Windows Azure Marketplace?

    Windows Azure Marketplace is the one-stop shop for cloud data, apps and services. Whether you are looking for new customers for your Windows Azure-based application or data, or are seeking new Windows Azure solutions and premium services to power your business, the Windows Azure Marketplace is the location of choice to power your cloud-based services.

    3.       Why is the Microsoft Translator API on Windows Azure Marketplace?

    Windows Azure Marketplace provides a robust ecommerce platform designed specifically to provide data-sets and data services to build applications. Provisioning the Microsoft Translator API service through the Marketplace allows us to deliver the service at higher volumes than we previously could offer, along with the facility to upgrade to higher volume on demand. Additionally, it provides a world-class ecommerce back-end which enables us to better serve our global Translator partners and grow with demand.

    4.       Will Marketplace be the only place to access the Microsoft Translator API?

    Microsoft Translator API users are able to provision themselves for the Microsoft Translator API service via Windows Azure Marketplace and Azure Store.  For enterprise customers, the service is available through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.

    5.       How do I get help with Windows Azure Marketplace?

    For issues with Windows Azure Marketplace including billing or sign up, please go to Marketplace Support.

    6.       Why does the use of OData affect the Azure Marketplace account status page differently than other data types?

    OData throughput information may register on the account status page before the other data-types (AJAX, HTTP and SOAP). In March, all data types should be accurately reflected in the account status page.

    7.   What protocols can developers use to access the Microsoft Translator API?

    Developers can access the Microsoft Translator API via a number of standard web protocols, including HTTP, AJAX and SOAP. With the Azure Marketplace integration, developers can also access Microsoft Translator API via OData.

    8.   What throughput tiers of the Microsoft Translator API will be available via Windows Azure Marketplace and Azure Store? What is the pricing model?

    Pricing is based on a monthly subscription model. Both the FREE and paid monthly volume tiers are available on the Microsoft Translator API offer page on Windows Azure Marketplace or for Azure customers, through Azure Store.  

    • 2M characters / month: FREE
    • 4M characters / month: 40.00 USD
    • 6M characters / month: 60.00 USD
    • 8M characters / month: 80.00 USD
    • 16M characters / month: 160.00 USD
    • 32M characters / month:  300.00 USD
    • 64M characters / month:  576.00 USD
    • 128M characters / month:  1,058.00 USD
    • 250M characters / month:  2,055.00 USD
    • 500M characters / month:  3,995.00 USD
    • 635M characters / month:  5,000.00 USD
    • 1 Billion characters / month: 6,000.00 USD

    Pricing is based on a monthly subscription period and you will automatically be charged at the beginning of each subscription month until you cancel your subscription.  A subscription month begins on the Subscription Start Date and the next subscription month begins on that same date the following month. 

    An overview of purchasing and subscribing through Windows Azure Marketplace is available here.

    9.  What is the Auto-refill feature in Windows Azure Marketplace?   

    Customers may opt-in to the Auto-refill feature which helps to give them a sense of security knowing their service will continue if they exhaust their subscribed monthly volume prematurely.  For details on Auto-refill, see our blog post.

    10.   What if I need more than 1 Billion characters over a subscription month?

    If you require more than 1 Billion characters during a subscription month, please contact the Microsoft Translator Team at

    11.   What if I don’t use all the volume that I subscribed to within a subscription month?

    The remaining character balance does not carry over from one  subscription month to the next. The purchased volume can only be used during your subscription month.

    12.   Are there discounts for nonprofit or educational institutions?

    We work with many non-profit, research and education customers. If your needs exceed the free tier, please contact the Microsoft Translator Team at The Microsoft Translator widget for websites is available at no cost and may be worth your consideration.

    13.   Do I need to renew my subscription every month?

    No, you will be automatically renewed at your current pricing tier every month until you cancel or change your subscription through Windows Azure Marketplace.

    14.   Can I upgrade anytime?

    Yes, you can upgrade in the middle of a subscription month but you will lose any remaining character balance you have when you change your subscription.  To upgrade, sign-in to Windows Azure Marketplace and select the 'My Account' tab. The select 'My Data' and it will display your data subscriptions.  Click on the 'Microsoft Translator' logo in that page to change your subscription.  This will give you a new full subscription month's worth of credit.  At that time, you will also pay in advance for a new subscription month at the new pricing tier.

    15.   Can I downgrade or cancel before the monthly renewal date?

    Yes, but subscriptions are not refundable.

    16.   What if I want to cancel and renew after a few months? What happens to the edits stored as part of using the Collaborative Translation features (AddTranslation)?

    If you completely cancel your subscription with the Windows Azure Marketplace your edits will be lost. We would recommend downgrading to the free tier while not actively using the service if you have plans to reactivate in the future. You can also export your edits using the API.

    17.   How do I use OData API versus other data types?

    Please refer to the Microsoft Translator developer documentation.

    18.   How do you know when you reach your monthly volume limit? Received a “Quota Exceeded” message?

    If your Translator API usage has reached the throughput limit, the API will return a “Quota Exceeded” message. You will also be able to check the remaining character balance in the subscription month through your 'My Data' page on Windows Azure Marketplace. If you receive a quota exceeded message and you believe it was in error (you subscribed to a higher tier, you haven’t used up your translation volume for the month) please contact the Microsoft Translator team at

    19.   How can I protect my Client ID from malicious use?

    With the new 2-legged authentication mechanisms available through Windows Azure Marketplace, developers can use the Translator API more securely and without fear of revealing credentials. The Azure Marketplace authentication is standard oAuth.

    20.   How do I get technical support?

    Currently, technical support is offered through our forums and our blog. As the amount and type of support required by the Translator API user base changes over time, we may adjust our support offering to meet the changing needs of the Microsoft Translator community.

    21.   All I need is to translate my website into the language visitors are most comfortable with. What is the free Microsoft Translator widget for web sites?

    The Translator widget for websites is a FREE, JavaScript based, no-code translation tool that instantly makes your web pages available in all the languages our service supports. There is no license or pricing requirement and it is available for use on your website today. This unique offering was the first to deliver an in-line translation experience, and the capability for website owners to collaborate with their community and trusted users to tailor the translations to their site’s content.You can try the widget on our blog at

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:41 PM

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  • Existing Users & Licensees:

    1.       I was using the Microsoft Translator API prior to the Azure Marketplace announcement, how do I continue using the Microsoft Translator API?

    For those of you who have been using the Translator API for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, you must obtain an access token and be provisioned through Windows Azure Marketplace.  As of April 1, 2012, we have deprecated the Bing AppIDs and transitioned to the more secure Windows Azure mechanism. 

    To use the Microsoft Translator API service with an access token, follow the steps below:

       1. Subscribe to the service through Marketplace.  A free service tier of 2 million characters per month continues to be available.      

               2. Register your application on Marketplace.

               3. Obtain an access token here. 

    2.    How do I migrate to Windows Azure Marketplace?

    You can provision yourself through Windows Azure Marketplace at any time.  See question 1 for instructions.

    3.       How does Azure Marketplace affect existing Widget users?

    Continue to use the Collaborative Translation Features (that require a Bing AppID during the generation of the snippet) as you have in the past, there is no need to sign up on Azure Marketplace. We will provide an update to our user community if there are any changes to the widget.  

    4.       What customer benefits does the Microsoft Translator API provide?

    Consumers are able to get a quick translation of text in any of the 40+ supported languages, developers and webmasters are able to provide translation and language services as part of their applications, websites or services. 

    Other services available via the Microsoft Translator API include collaborative translation, language detection and text-to-speech.  Please see

    We make our best effort to support those languages most in demand by our user community.  If you are interested in a language not currently supported, please email the Microsoft Translator team at with the language you are interested in using.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:43 PM