Welcome to Day 17 of 365 Ideas for Office 365. Read Aloud in Other Languages. 68 Languages.
I’m back from several days of getting spoiled by Nearpod at Nearpod Transform in Ft. Lauderdale, and on my way to NCCE in Seattle, so the posts may still be spotty this week, but we still have almost 350 ideas to get through, so let’s do this.
Microsoft and Google
There are many things that you can do in both Google and Microsoft’s education and productivity tools. There are also some things that each excels in. Google keeps their tools beautifully simple. (See what I did there?) That helps them to function very cleanly, very smoothly. When I save to or download from Google Drive, it happens faster than it does with my OneDrive, and when collaborating in Docs, Sheets and Slides, we see each others’ edits faster than in Word, Excel or PowerPoint. But simplicity also has limits. Namely, in order to remain simple, it has to limit the functions. Google also leverages third parties. All kinds of people create third party add-ons and extensions for Google. Microsoft tends to keep things in house, to keep things more secure but also more integrated. Now that these products are maturing, this strategy is starting to bear fruit.
Microsoft can translate. So can Google. Microsoft has dictation. So does Google. Microsoft has text to speech. So does Google. Microsoft has Math tools. (As far as I can tell, Google has nothing like the Ink to Math tools in Microsoft.) Some of those tools are built into Google, but some are add-ons, and add-ons don’t always work together.
Immersive Reader now has, built in, translation. Like everything else in Immersive Reader this can be turned on and off. Or, I should say, they can be turned on or off, because there are two choices for translating in Immersive Reader.
You can toggle on or off the ability to translate single words. When you click on a single word in Immersive Reader, a small window pops up and it reads the word aloud.
Read aloud a single word
(If Picture Dictionary is turned on and the word is on Boardmaker’s library, this is also how students access the picture.)
If you toggle on Translate Word and choose a language, then when you click on the word the popup has the word in English and the other language.
Read Aloud/Translate a single word
Click on either (or both) to hear the word in that language.
Or, you can turn on Translate document. As you might expect, this translates the entire document into another language. And this is where the magic happens. Immersive Reader is fully functional, in that other language. Okay, full disclosure. Some languages have more features than others. In Spanish you can use the line focus, picture dictionary and parts of speech, but Arabic doesn’t support parts of speech or picture dictionary.
Here’s this document in Arabic.
Translate and Read aloud an entire document
To see and here this in action, check out this video clip of translating this article from English to Arabic and hearing it read aloud in Arabic!
There are 68 choices of language. That includes variants, so Spanish is available as Spain, Mexico or Latin America, there are six versions of Chinese and six versions of English. But don’t look down on that. (That still leaves 56 unique languages.) Those variants are important. Did I mention there are 68 choices for languages?
Mind not blown yet? Next time we’ll look at how this works in Math classes.
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All the Microsoft Tools You Need to Transform Your Classroom: 50 Ideas for using Microsoft Office 365 for Education available on amazon in both Kindle and paperback.