Microsoft Outlook can now turn you into a languages expert with zero effort

The Microsoft Outlook logo on a laptop screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Making sense of all your Microsoft Outlook emails is set to get a lot easier thanks to a new update.

The email service has announced it will be upgrading its translation software in order to help users better get to grips with their messages from overseas.

The upgrade includes automatic message translation tools for a number of languages, which could be a huge boost for users dealing with global teams or customers in a wide variety of locations.

Microsoft Outlook translation

In its entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company outlined how Outlook will help users translate and understand their messages.

"In Outlook, you can translate words, phrases, and full messages when you need them," the entry noted, adding that users will be able to set Outlook to automatically translate messages they receive in other languages.

This will take the form of a prompt at the top of a message, sent automatically when Outlook detects an email sent in a foreign language, where users will be able to have Outlook translate it into their preferred language.

If a user selects the option to change, the original message text will be replaced with translated text, which will be cached for 15 days - meaning users won't need to translate the same message twice. 

Microsoft Outlook translation tool

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Users can choose to translate just a selection of text from a message, simply by highlighting the preferred text and right-clicking, which will display the translation immediately. You can also select text and right-click to translate to your preferred language when you're composing an email, inserting it directly into the message you're writing.

Users can also choose the option to never translate messages in a particular language, with all these options being available from the Translate button in the Outlook ribbon.

The news comes shortly after Microsoft Teams announced an update that allows users to see live transcripts of their calls, even if they are carried out in a foreign language.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.