Skype is about to offer a translation service that could change the future of communication across the globe.
Microsoft’s new Skype Translator gives you the ability to speak in any language, but crucially, in real time. This is not only advantageous from a personal point of view, but in business too.
But this is not all the translator does, it not only converts your message into another language, but simultaneously translates what is spoken back to you in your native language.
Here is a brief synopsis of what happens when you speak or text into the translator:
How it works:
- What you say or write is converted into another language in near real-time.
- What someone else says is then translated back in your language.
- All conversation is displayed on-screen.
The translator is also able to convert instant messages across over 40 languages.
Can you help test the Skype Translator?
At present, the Skype Translator is in the testing stage, and as such, Microsoft want people who would possibly use it on a regular basis to help them.
If you are interested you should sign up where you may be invited.
What is Skype Translator really like to use?
One company that has already signed and tested the translator are Digital Trends, who had to wait several weeks for their invite.
They were asked to uninstall their current version of Skype which would leave you to believe that the new one would be considerably different, but it wasn’t. There is the familiar blue interface of Skype with messages on the left, favourites and contact list on the right, and at the top left are your shortcuts.
Using the translation service
To start a chat you need to turn on the translation feature using a button underneath your contact’s profile. You’ll find this on the left of the chat window. When you first turn it on, you will be asked to confirm the settings for written and spoken languages.
After you have sent your first message, your recipient will receive the following message in English and in their native language.
***You’re about to get an automatically translated message. The message may be recorded by Microsoft in order to improve the quality of the automatic translation service.***
This also happens when you start a voice chat, but as a spoken guide. For voice calls it is recommended you wear a headset.
Currently the voice translation is only available in English and Spanish, so there is not much opportunity to test this area. However, Digital Trends, who did test the translator, found that there were good points and negative ones.
The translator managed to record long stretches of text without getting it wrong.
If the person spoke clearly and precisely, the conversion was almost flawless.
It is quite hard to wait for the translator to finish before you start to speak.
Quality of translation could be improved.
All in all the overall verdict is that at this stage it is promising but there is more work needed, which as Microsoft have asked for testers, they already know there are weak spots.
The software will never replace language experts but as a tool for business and personal use, it is a pretty good replacement.
If you are interested in testing the new Skype Translator, visit –
Source: Digital Trends