Microsoft Research (site) is doing some cool stuff and we're more than pleased to have them release multiple apps on Windows Phones, letting us test what they're doing e.g. Project Emporia.

'Engkoo' (hands down the oddest name) is a new dictionary app that is used on Bing in China (for translation) and now it can be in your pocket:

Free dictionary and translation based on new technology from Microsoft Research. Currently supporting English-English and English-Chinese (Simplified). Define/translate a word, phrase or sentence. Features include: fresh definitions and sample sentences mined from the web, pronunciation (audio), autocomplete with built-in support for spelling correction, wildcard (*, ?), and pinyin input. Learn more about the Engkoo project @

The app is fairly basic: you type in a word, a phrase or a sentence and it auto-looks up the translation in Chinese--but the science behind it...woo, there's some magic happening in the cloud. Okay, so the app right now is mainly for Chinese users learning English, the point is Microsoft is figuring out how to make learning language easier and more dynamic by using the power of the web to harness better examples. In the future, it looks to be expanded to other languages and I'm not going to lie, as a former linguist, I find the project extremely interesting.

Grab the app here in the Marketplace. via WPSauce