In February 2024 Microsoft announced the release of the SharePoint Premium translation service for general availability.

The feature allows you to easily create a translated copy of a selected file (or a set of files) in a SharePoint document library whilst preserving as much of the original format and structure of the file(s) as possible.

Files can be translated manually on-demand or automatically at scale by creating a translation rule. This translation feature can also be used for translating video transcripts and closed caption files.

From now until the end of June 2024 Microsoft are offering a free trial of their document translation service as well as a couple of other selected SharePoint Premium services.

Please be aware that the term Microsoft ‘Syntex’ may be used within this blog post or within links used within this blog post. At the time of publication, Microsoft Syntex is currently evolving to become SharePoint Premium.

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Content translation for information management 

In today’s interconnected world, effective communication across borders and languages is paramount. SharePoint Premium’s translation service, powered by AI-based translation algorithms, offers a robust solution for seamless cooperation, increased global access, and promotion of diversity.  

If your organisation works across regions, being able to quickly translate content enables better multilingual collaboration, communication and information management, including: 

  • Multilingual content accessibility: SharePoint Premium enables organisations to translate documents instantly and at scale. Whether it’s internal memos, customer-facing materials, or legal documents, the ability to provide content in multiple languages ensures that everyone can access critical information whenever required. Multi-language content accessibility enables global teams to collaborate more effectively, breaking down language barriers and fostering inclusivity. 
  • Efficient collaboration: When teams span different time zones and geographies, efficient collaboration becomes essential. SharePoint Premium’s translation feature allows team members to work on shared documents without language barriers. Real-time translation ensures that updates and comments are understood by all stakeholders, regardless of their native language. 
  • Risk mitigation: Organisations dealing with international partners, clients, or regulatory bodies must comply with data privacy regulations. Translating sensitive documents ensures that legal requirements are met. By managing content in multiple languages, SharePoint Premium reduces the risk of miscommunication or misinterpretation, safeguarding against legal pitfalls. 
  • Regulatory compliance: In regulated industries or when complying with local/national laws, having documentation available in required languages is essential. Automated translation at scale helps achieve this goal. 
  • Diverse user experiences: Tailoring content to different audiences enhances user experiences. SharePoint Premium’s translation capabilities allow organisations to create personalised experiences for employees, customers, and partners. Whether it’s a product manual, training materials, or corporate policies, localised content resonates better with diverse audiences. 
  • Consistency and accuracy: The AI-driven translation engine ensures consistency and accuracy in translations, maintaining the integrity and coherence of the original content across languages. 
  • Streamlined knowledge sharing: Organisations accumulate vast knowledge repositories. Translating this knowledge into various languages ensures that insights, best practices, and expertise are accessible to a global workforce. SharePoint Premium facilitates knowledge sharing across borders, promoting continuous learning and growth. 
  • Records management: SharePoint Premium’s translation service allows records managers to easily understand the content of the organisational records no matter their original language, facilitating metadata and retention schedule application and enabling effective records management and document disposal in line with the legislative requirements. 
  • Cost-effective solution: Traditional manual translation processes can be time-consuming and expensive. SharePoint Premium’s automated translation reduces costs associated with professional translators. 

SharePoint Premium’s document translation feature bridges linguistic gaps, fosters collaboration, and facilitates records management in multilingual organisations. By leveraging AI-driven translation, businesses can unlock new opportunities and efficiencies. 

Requirements and limitations of Microsoft SharePoint Premium’s translation service 

Document translation is available for the following file types: 

  • .csv 
  • .docx 
  • .htm 
  • .html 
  • .markdown 
  • .md 
  • .msg 
  • .pdf 
  • .pptx 
  • .txt 
  • .xlsx

For legacy file types 

  • .doc 
  • .rtf 
  • .xls 
  • .ods
  • .ppt
  • .odp 

For these, the translated copy will be created in the modern equivalent (.docx, .xlsx, or .pptx). 

Translating SharePoint site pages isn’t currently supported (at time of publishing). 

The maximum file size for documents to be translated is limited to 40 MB. 

A list of languages supported by the translation feature is available at Language support – Translator – Azure AI services | Microsoft Learn. 

According to the February release notes: 

  • Text on an image within a document isn’t translated. 
  • Password-protected files aren’t translated. 
  • On-demand translation on folders will be available in a future release. 

How to get your hands on the free trial

The SharePoint Premium translation service is billed on a pay-as-you-go basis through a monthly Azure subscription.

From now until the end of June 2024, you can try out the document translation service and other selected SharePoint Premium services at no cost if you have pay-as-you-go billing set up.

This promotional offer covers the first one million characters per month at no cost.

Monthly usage over the promotional limit will be billed as described in Pay-as-you-go services and pricing.

For detailed information on this promotional offer, see Try out Microsoft Syntex and explore its services.

Learn SharePoint Premium 

This blog post was brought to you buy the trainers and educators at Leadership Through Data. 

Leadership Through Data are Information Management and Governance experts who provide education and consultancy services to both public and private sector companies. 

If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of Microsoft SharePoint Premium, Leadership Through Data have a fantastic instructor-led training course that you can book on today. 

To find out more about this training course, please click on the region that most closely matches your time zone: