Microsoft is testing a new feature will let you Skype your foreign friends and relatives without reaching for the dictionary.
Instead, all you need to do is video call via Skype as normal and the software takes care of everything, providing an audio translation in a male or female voice of everything being said, plus an onscreen text transcript.
And it works with voice-only Skyping too.
Thanks to the stronghold that the company has over PC operating systems, it's easy to forget that as well as Windows and the Office suite of computer applications, Microsoft pours billions of dollars into research and development and can be as innovative and creative as any of its peers. And the Skype Translator is a perfect example.
The company is the first to admit that the service still has "a few rough edges" but by opening it up to the public for testing -- initially anyone with a Skype account and a computer or tablet that runs Windows 8.1, the product can be improved quickly.
As the service is still in a test phase, the company has not yet revealed details on which languages will be available.
To sign up for the service: Click here