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.
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.