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Skype's newest feature will translate English-Spanish video chats in real-time

As well as supporting two spoken languages, Skype Translator Preview also supports more than 40 languages on its instant messaging service.

Image: Skype/YouTube

IF YOU EVER find yourself chatting to a Spanish speaker who doesn’t understand English, then things are about to get easier.

Microsoft has launched the first phase of its Skype Translator preview programme, which supports two spoken languages – English and Spanish –  and supports more than 40 languages on its Instant Messaging service. available to those who have signed up via

The catch is the preview is only available to those who have signed up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1.

Acting as a digital interpreter, the technology is able to recognise what a person is saying in one language and translate it into another, and vice-versa.

Microsoft first revealed the digital translator back in May, where it was still a work in progress. Created by Microsoft Research, the feature is the result of more than a decade’s worth of work from this division, achieved through Machine Learning

The more it’s used, the smarter it gets. This also helps it better recognise and translate topics, accents and speech variations. The technology also recognises ‘ums’ and ‘ahhs’ and filters them out of the final translation.

Showing it off in a rather sweet video showing two different schools – one from Washington and the other from Mexico City – testing out the technology and guessing where either school was located.

Source: Skype/YouTube

The company are hoping that more people – those who speak different languages – will get on board to help speed up new releases. The version out now is a preview, mind, so don’t expect flawless translations from the get-go.

Source: Skype/YouTube

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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