For those who travel around the world, Bing Translator is an indispensable app for not feeling lost amongst the crowd. The useful app is perfect for translating foreign text to your native tongue, either by typing, scanning the text with your camera or speaking directly into the app.
Today, version 3.0 of Bing Translator is now available, and although it is a big version-number update, the changes in the app itself are singular: Voice translation for Chinese.
Heading into the app to the Voice section, when a user chooses what languages to translate into, the option to translate from Chinese (Simplified) to any other language is now possible. Previously, users could select Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) as a target, but Chinese was not available as the source language. With today's update, travelers could use their Windows Phone to 'listen' to a Chinese speaker and have the language translated into English, Dutch, Maltese, or more.
Microsoft and China getting closer together
Considering Cortana is about to be launched in China, this additional language for Translator should not be a surprise. In order for Cortana to work, those Bing services need to be localized, and voice-recognition of that language is a goal for Microsoft; Cortana can even speak Chinese now. Now that Chinese localization is nearly complete for Microsoft, we see the trickle down effects in apps like Bing Translator.
Update: Some users are reporting some minor UI changes like a new Live Tile with a photo and the spinning globe on the app's background.