Microsoft breaks down language barriers with Skype Translator Preview

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 16 December 2014
Microsoft breaks down language barriers with Skype Translator Preview

Microsoft has been demoing its Skype Translator software for a few months, but now customers can get their hands on the software themselves.

Through the Skype Translator preview programme, customers who have already signed up via the Skype Translator page will be able to start communicating with each other in their native language and have the software translate their conversation in real time.

At the moment, the preview supports two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and more than 40 instant messaging languages. Customers also have to be using a Windows 8.1 desktop or device to take advantage of the software.

Skype Translator is the result of many years work at Microsoft to apply machine learning to achieve real-time voice translation. According to Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype, “as more people use the Skype Translator preview, the quality will continually improve.” The company will also add more language capabilities in the coming months.

Here’s a link to a video showing Spanish-speaking children from a classroom in Peterson School in Mexico City using Skype Translator to communicate with children speaking English at Stafford Elementary School in Tacoma, US.

Microsoft is continuing to encourage people to sign-up to use the preview. If you’re interested, visit the Skype Translator page.

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