Skype Translator is now available to all Windows users, making it easier than ever to communicate in a variety of languages, regardless of your own verbal skills.
Starting from October 1, the technology is incorporated into the desktop version of Skype, on the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
The launch is long overdue, given that in June company representatives had announced they would expand the feature by the end of summer. Previously, ever since last December, hundreds of thousands desktop users had been accessing a pre-release of this communication tool, as a standalone Windows 8 app.
Around 3 billion video and voice calls take place on Skype on a daily basis, but now it will be even easier to communicate with family, friends or colleagues. This technique, based on Deep Neural Networks, will help break language barriers, in a way that may make it redundant to actually study a foreign dialect.
“This opens up a whole new world of possibilities to do even more together across not only distances, but also languages”, stated company representatives in a blog announcement.
The upgraded Skype Translator will offer real-time translation for 6 voice languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin. Thanks to this tool, users will just have to click on a translator button (shaped like a globe) and have their video and audio conversations instantly converted into their desired language.
The transcripts detailing what each participant has said will appear as close captions under the broadcast. Users are advised to speak clearly and slowly, so that the translator can correctly process the information.
There is also support for a total of 50 messaging languages, for users who prefer typing when communicating. The complete list of all the languages which the translator can operate with is available in a Microsoft FAQ.
According to the developers, the accuracy of Skype Translator will improve in time, as the program continually learns from its users. Even this version is actually significantly upgraded, due to feedback from early adopters, researchers and engineers.
It is expected that the more people employ this software for keeping in touch with their foreign friends and acquintances, the more responsive and reliable the app will become.
Since this launch is only limited to Windows platforms, it may take a while until Skype Translator reaches Android, iOS or OS X users, although cross-platform functionality has always been important to Microsoft. In addition, despite the fact that in theory the app has already been released, even Windows OS users may have to wait a few weeks until this update rolls out for everyone.
Image Source: Skype