Belfast Telegraph

Skype Translator now available for everyone, offering live translation in video chats

Skype users can now have their conversations translated in real time.

The Translator feature, which analyses voice and then sends it to another user during the conversation, was first rolled out in an early version in December to select users. But Microsoft has now removed the limits on the sign-up process, letting anyone with the right hardware join up.

Any computer or tablet on Windows 8.1 or the Windows 10 preview can try out the software. Skype Translator comes as a separate preview application that can be downloaded in the Windows Store.

At the moment, the voice tool can only translate with English, to and from Mandarin Chinese, Italian and Spanish. The text translation works with 50 different languages.

The company says that the goal is “to translate as many languages as possible on relevant platforms”.

The software has improved since it was rolled out in December. Translation services tend to rely on real life use to refine their translations, relying on testing and user input to make the software more accurate and natural.

As with when Skype rolled out the early version in December, Microsoft took the opportunity to show how the live translation tool can be used for good. It released a special video of early adopters Pro Mujer, a non-profit organisation in New York that helps woman in Latin America to get important services.

Belfast Telegraph Digital