Announcing the Microsoft Terminology Service API

If you are already using the Microsoft Language Portal to find Microsoft product terminology and phrases, you’ll already be familiar with manual searches for translations from Windows, Office, Visual Studio, Dynamics, Windows Phone, Skype and many others.

We are now making this translation data even more accessible for developers. With the new Terminology Service API, you can now program your apps to access these translations. The API allows you to programmatically access the terminology, definitions and user interface (UI) strings available on the Language Portal through a web service, enabling you to write apps that call the data from the portal and display it on your website or translate your Windows Store or Windows Phone apps.

You can also use the Terminology Service API for:

  • Dictionary-style terminology, definition, and translation lookups for Microsoft terminology on your site or from within your app.
  • Integration with your localization or content authoring system for dynamic translation and localization.
  • Combination with Bing Translator to translate your content using lookups to get the right Microsoft terminology and machine translation for the content.
  • Suggestions for Microsoft terminology in community translation of content and wikis.

The content is the same as you will find on the Language Portal search page and includes terminology and English definitions for terms like “swipe”, “download”, “cloud”, in addition to the actual product user interface translations, such as “Save to phone,” “Pin to Start,” “Log on,” and other common UI terms in major Microsoft products.

Integration with Multilingual App Toolkit (MAT)

If you are developing international apps for Windows Store or Windows Phone, you’ve already enjoyed the free translations provided by the Multilingual App Toolkit with integrated Bing Translator service. The great news is that MAT now offers machine translation via Bing Translator as well as Microsoft terminology and user interface commands in one single tool, using the Terminology Service API! To find out more about the new MAT version, read Cameron Lerum’s overview on Michael Kaplan's blog. And to learn more about MAT itself, take at look at the short Multilingual App Toolkit introduction video.

This screenshot shows how MAT integrates the Language Portal terms and phrases and displays them directly in the MAT editor, in this case the string “Service unavailable” and the available French translations from the Language Portal:

Supported Languages

The languages supported by the API include all the languages you will find on the Language Portal. It currently enables translation from US English to any of the supported languages and/or any of the supported language to US English. To get a full listing, use the GetLanguages method in the Terminology Service API.

Locales and Languages

Note that language codes currently include both the language and the country/region, for example “en-us.” Neutral locales, such as “en” only, are not currently offered. However, some of the language and locale combinations reflect terminology and UI strings from products that are distributed in multiple countries where a language is spoken and can be regarded as “neutral” flavors of the language, in particular:

  • English: en-us
  • French: fr-fr
  • Arabic: ar-sa
  • German: de-de
  • Dutch: nl-nl
  • Spanish: es-es

Getting Started

To get started, download the Terminology Service API SDK document (PDF format) for the full technical specification to use the API.

Using the Terminology Service API

When you use the data from the Terminology Service API on your website or in your app, you must include the attribution “Microsoft Terminology Service API. © 2013 [or applicable year] Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.” For more details on the terms of use, please refer to the Microsoft Language Portal Materials License.

Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    You probably have been using the Microsoft Language Portal website to lookup strings for your apps for

  2. Anonymous says:

    Today, the Microsoft Terminology API is being expanded with a much broader set of language combinations

  3. Met Morn says:

    Dear All,

    My name is Met from Cambodia. I found that the translation of your products into Khmer is not consistent in terminology yet as Khmer translators use different glossaries from different sources. The most important point is that it sounds very clumsy for every
    word that Khmer translators use in their translation so I would love you to pick one standard glossary from any recognized institution to apply in your product and provided to all Khmer translators as well.

    Best Regards,


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