How do I read transliterated text?

Transliteration, or writing words in the corresponding letters of a different alphabet, is available in the Translator apps for iOS and Android to help users read and pronounce non-Latin scripts. Latin script is the alphabet used in most languages in Western Europe, including English.

Transliteration is available in the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla
  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Thai

After you have translated to one of the languages above, you can swipe left on the translation to view the transliteration into Latin characters.

About transliteration from Chinese

Although Simplified Chinese is used throughout mainland China as a writing system, the way these characters are pronounced may differ significantly in various regions of the nation. For instance, in the area around Guangzhou and Hong Kong the majority of the population speaks Cantonese whereas in the area around Beijing the majority of the population speaks Mandarin. Both regions use Simplified Chinese as a writing system.  

The version of transliteration used in the Microsoft Translator apps is known as PinYin, which is based on Mandarin pronunciation of Simplified Chinese.

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