After a preview app released at the end of 2014, Skype Translator is finally here for desktop, translating six languages in voice. The new desktop app translates even more languages in text — what Skype calls “messaging languages.”
To be clear, Skype Translator has been around for almost a year as a standalone app designed for Windows 8. The app has done its time on beta and it will, in the next few weeks, start to roll out to all Skype users.
Microsoft’s Skype team explained on the Garage & Updates blog:
“It has been a long-time dream at Skype to break down language barriers and bring everyone across the globe closer together. Researchers, engineers, and many others across Microsoft have been working hard to make this dream a reality and we are looking forward to bringing this preview technology to more devices.”
The software giant is integrating the translator directly into the desktop version of Skype, opening it up to Windows 7, 8, and 10 users. The tool supports real-time translation of six voice Skype Translator languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, German, English, and French as well as 50 messaging languages.
According to Skype, among those who used Translator in its beta version were:
- An Australian world traveler who found his way across continents by translating key phrases,
- A non-profit worker who used Translator to unite donors around the world, and
- A PhD student who helped enhance his thesis with help from experts in other countries and
- A small business owner who communicated with his best suppliers through IM.
Surely, any small business that deals with foreign markets should feel less limited having a tool like this handy.
When you get the update for Skype, a globe icon will appear on the top right of Skype window. Clicking on it turns on Translator, letting you see and hear real-time translation of text and speech. While voice messages are translated in audio, there will also be subtitles, just in case you need them.
This article explains how Skype Translator works. Also, Skype has created a video for introducing users to Translator:
Skype Translator languages are recognized by comparing audio with millions of sounds and corrects any colloquial expressions. It then translates the text into the preferred language. The translation will show up on both screens and the computer will read out translations for voice calls.
Skye Translator uses world-class learning technology and it gets smarter as more and more people use it. Skype says that early users have already helped it improve tremendously and they expect additional progress with the broader release.