Microsoft throws efforts behind Skype Translator real-time translation tool, says beta will be available this year

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Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, 10:09
Category: News, Software


This could be interesting.

Per TechHive, before the end of 2014, Microsoft plans to release a beta Skype app that will enable real-time translation of people verbally speaking in different languages.

“Skype Translator”, as Microsoft has termed it, appears to be an extension of the real-time translation Microsoft has been developing over ten years.

As Microsoft notes, however, the new Skype Translator simply makes more sense than a dedicated app, given the different scenarios in which Skype is used: in business, to talk to friends and relatives internationally, and in education.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new chief executive, introduced the new Skype Translator app at the Code Conference in southern California, where Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Skype and Lync, demonstrated the technology with a German-speaking colleague.

The demonstration not only provided an oral translation, but a text-based one as well. The original text, as understood by Skype, appeared at the bottom. Although the text appeared scripted, the demonstration was still impressive. The German speaker, identified as Diana Heinrichs, however, clearly enunicated each word precisely, while Pall was less formal.

It’s currently unclear as to how the beta version of Skype Translator will relate to the Skype you’re familiar with, Microsoft seems to be throwing a good deal of resources behind its real-time translation efforts.

If anyone’s tried the Skype Translator beta and has any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

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