Skype Translator lets you chat in a foreign language in real-time

Posted on Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 13:30 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Will Star Trek's universal translator become one step closer to reality this year? At the Code Conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a demonstration of a new Skype feature that promise to let you speak universally with anyone on the planet. Called Skype Translator, this service translates your and your contact's voice in nearly real-time. The translation is spoken by the computer when the other person is done speaking but you can also use subtitles.

Skype Translator will be launched before the end of 2014 as a Windows 8 beta app and eventually it will be released for all platforms already used by Skype. In the video demonstration you can see it tested in English and German but it's unclear which other languages will be supported at launch.
Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demo showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa, combining Skype voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition. Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era. You can learn more about the research behind this initiative here.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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