Don't speak the same language? If you're a Skype for Windows user, that's no problem


TS Addict

As of Wednesday, the Skype Translator tool is built directly into Skype for Windows. So now when you want to talk with someone who speaks another language, there's no need for a separate app to translate the conversation.

We’ve known about this development for a while now. Skype announced in June 2015 plans to integrate real-time translation technology into the Skype for Windows desktop app. And they gave us a preview of this function on Windows in the last few months of 2015.

To take advantage of this new tool, click on the globe in the upper right-hand corner of the Skype for Windows desktop app. Be sure to update to the latest version if you don’t see the icon.

In the announcement post, Skype shared some “fun facts” about the integration:

  • French to English is the most popular language pair
  • The number of calls per day has increased 400 percent since launch
  • The “most international” Skype Translator calling corridor is Germany to Ghana

If you’re not a Windows user, don’t hold your breath. Skype hasn’t made any mention of bringing the integration to other platforms or offering a standalone Skype Translator app. In the meantime, since it relies on machine learning, Skype Translator should only get better as it’s used more and more.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
So it's both verbal and written translations? It will be interesting to see how they handle some of the more complex phrasing. A friend I correspond with in Vietnam has pointed out that in a number of cases the translation is strictly words so what comes out on the other end is so random and does not address the restructuring of phrases that it is gobbly goop.