Skype enables real-time translation on calls to mobiles and landlines


Posts: 3,073   +97

Microsoft released Skype Translator in late 2014 as a standalone app for Windows 8 and built in directly into the Skype for Windows early this year. Up until now, the feature was available in Skype-to-Skype calls only, but now the company is expanding support to mobile and landline calls as well, meaning the person on the other side of the call doesn’t even need to be a Skype user.

In order to access the feature users need sign up to the free Windows Insider Program, have the latest version of Skype Preview on their Windows PCs and Skype credits or a subscription to make calls.

Skype’s real-time translation works with nine languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portugese, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. The feature is enabled within the dialer when placing a call. When the person on the other side picks up, they’ll be played a message telling them the call is being recorded and translated, and then the call takes place with short delays for the translated audio.

Skype Translator relies on machine learning so it should only get better as it’s used more and more. That said, this also means that it’s bout to make a few mistakes along the way.

Aside from voice translation for regular phone calls, other new features in the latest Skype release include the ability to share Skype contacts, capture and share video messages on Skype even when users are offline, mark conversations as read or unread, and to forward calls to mobiles or landlines.

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Greg S

Posts: 1,607   +442
Assuming this works, that's really cool. Only downside is our tech support friends might not actually speak English in a few years.


Posts: 583   +320
So eventually you'll have a hearing aid which auto translates Russian, Chinese and North Korean when you're killing them in CoD: Black Ops 12

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
It's a great idea, especially for those of us that are doing business with other countries, but don't always speak the language. The one drawback is that in some translations, everything gets terribly garbled. When talking with clients in Vietnam I can't use any of the popular translators because it dosen't come out on the other end as it should; but from the growth and improvements so far, I think it's going to go a long way ....