Starting in late summer this year Skype will provide its desktop version of Skype app on Windows with the real-time translation service known as Skype Translator. It will first be applied for the Skype version which functions on Windows 8.1. Microsoft intends to integrate the app in the Skype version for Windows 7 and above as well. The company made the announcement on Monday in a blog post.
Skype Translator allows users who speak different languages to chat using their own mother tongue. The app will automatically translate the conversations, both instant messages and spoken words. The instant messaging option supports 50 languages and the spoken-language translations supports English, Mandarin, Italian and Spanish.
Text translation is not something new. Microsoft and Google already offer these types of services. For example with Google Translate you have access to 89 languages. What is important about this Skype update is the fact that this is the first speech-translation system which functions in real time. According to Microsoft Research this system relies on a series of deep neural networks. So this means that the service will improve along with the number of people who use it.
This service could be very important and innovative, especially if it is going to reach a high quality level. It is not a small thing to basically turn the words you speak in a language in another language during a Skype vide call. Users can choose whether they prefer to hear the translation in real time or to view the transcript.
The first phase of the company’s Skype Translator preview was tested in December 2014 when the service showed the transcript of an audio or video Skype call on the screen and was also able to translate instant messages in 50 languages. The second phase of the preview was in April when the service was added support for Chinese and Italian besides Spanish and English for the spoken-language translation. In May the Skype Translator preview was broadened and it included Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The testers had to download a separate app in their computer from the Windows Store.
Tech analysts say that the Skype Translator preview will most likely be released on July 29 along with the arrival of Windows 10. The service will probably feature not only computers, but also tablets and smartphones.
Image Source: Cult of Mac