If your friend does not understand the foreign language you speak, web-based translator may no longer be the only option as Microsoft has developed an app for Skype that can almost translate conversations in real time.
Skype enables two people who have the software to participate in a video chat over the internet.
Skype vice president Gurdeep Pall demonstrated for the first time publicly the Skype Translator app early this week, with Pall conversing in English with German-speaking Microsoft employee Diana Heinrichs.
"We felt speech translation was a very natural evolution of the text-translation work we have been doing," said Chris Wendt, programme manager of Microsoft's Machine Translation team that developed the technology for the app.
"It is an exciting project," he said, adding "and it became clear that adding this capability to Skype and enabling people to have translated conversations was the killer scenario to get this technology into customers' hands."
For over 300 million monthly active Skype users around the world, the app may provide a new opportunity to conduct business meetings.
Skype Translator will be available first on Windows 8 later this year, Microsoft said.