For a long time, Skype has been a communication pioneer, and the company has often been considered the gold standard for online video/audio chat. When your company name becomes part of the daily lexicon of terminology ("shall we Skype later?"), then you know you've arrived.
Today, however, Skype has helped bring us one step further toward language being even less of a barrier than ever before. With the release of "Skype Translator", users can now chat using video and audio in two different languages. The software (thank you, Microsoft) uses speech recognition, automated translation (machine translation) and machine learning to allow people to communicate without the need to even speak each other's language!
Another aspect of Skype Translator is that Instant Messages can also be translated. Overall, they say that the software will do the following:
- Translate your conversation into another language in near real-time.
- What someone else says is translated back in your language.
- An on-screen transcript of your call is displayed.
- And you can send instant messages across 40+ languages.
Currently, this technology is in pre-release an Skype is accepting applications for "preview users," which you can sign up to apply for here. Skype Translator is still in development, and the preview program will help refine this new translation technology over time. Once that's complete, however, Skype and Microsoft have indicated that they plan to support the technology in over 40 languages.
For now, the tool is only available in English and Spanish, but if you click the image above and view the demo video, you'll see that it appears to absolutely work. Along with translation memory, and machine translation, this is incredibly important translation technology and verbal communication technology.
Thank you, Skype, and we're looking forward to seeing full release and more languages soon!
Download a checklist on which solution is best for your project: Human Translation or Machine Translation: