Skype’s new app provides real-time translations during voice calls

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2014 02:54 IST

Put on your headset, check the mike, log into your Skype account, dial someone in Mexico, and start talking.

You may be talking in English, and the other person in Spanish, but no worries. Skype Translator will take care of the rest. The Microsoft-owned VoIP company launched the service on Monday.

As of now, the service is available only to speakers of English and Spanish, and only on devices with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Technical Preview.

But its available for texting in over 40 languages.

“Skype Translator will open up endless possibilities for people around the world to connect, communicate and collaborate; people will no longer be hindered by geography or language,” Microsoft vice-president Gurdeep Pall said in a blog.

The blog demonstrated the use of the translator to connect two schools, one in the US and the other in Mexico. Students used their own language, the translation — in a digitised voice — followed in near-time.

Pall said the translator benefits from more than a decade of investments in “speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies”.

There were no announcements about the rollout for other operating systems, devices or languages. You can register, and wait for your turn.

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