Skype Debuts Real-Time Translation
Skype’s revolutionary translation system is about to go live in a public test initiative. The system is designed to translate what people say to each other into the other’s native language as it’s said, hopefully breaking down language barriers and subsequently making it a lot easier for people to communicate worldwide.
The translation system went into preview mode with the first two languages included being Spanish and English, a pair of languages spoken all across the world. Additionally, 40 additional languages are also being supported for text based instant messages.
Microsoft and Skype demonstrated the tech earlier this year in closed environments, but now the system is public the culmination of what the company says has been years of work by theirs and Skype’s research team will be available for all to use.
The applications of such a system are numerous – not only will the audio portion of the translation system allow Skype users to talk to each other but also big businesses will be able to communicate without needing translators. As other languages are added this advantage may lead to Skype becoming a top choice for international conference calls.
Skype showed off the system and how it works in a recent blog post, which shows the layers of translation and how it all gets put together. A video shows how it works, in a nutshell. Here it is below.
The layers of translation also include very complex corrections and filters which chop out other dialogue such as um-ing and ah-ing, as well as the initial stage of recognising the words themselves. It’s highly complicated.
It’s not yet known when the system will go out to all users, as currently the translation feature on Skype is limited to Windows 8.1 computers and Windows 10 technical preview users.
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However, the inclusion of the translation software on Windows 10 means that once the OS goes out the translation will be available on phones, tablets and a massive range of Windows 10 devices set to use the OS.
If you want to get your hands on the new software, Skype are offering an opt-in preview program through their website, which we’ll leave a link to at the bottom of this article. It’s free and available to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 testers, but you’ll need to register and may or may not eventually get invited, as invites are sent at the discretion of Skype.