Skype is one of Microsoft’s most popular software products. It is used by millions of people daily. However, the VoIP platform may soon increase its fandom thanks to a new feature that has the potential to transform the way we communicate online.
The latest addition to Skype is called Skype Translator and, as its name suggests, it helps translating conversations over the Internet. Moreover, it offers real-time translation of speech. In others words, Skype users will soon be able to call people who do not speak their native language and converse with them with the help of Skype Translator.
This new function involves a number of complex processes and it combines three technologies – speech recognition, text-to-speech, as well as machine translation. First, the feature recognizes the user’s speech and transfers it into text. After that, the text is translated into the second language. The translated text is then turned again into speech. Skype users are able to hear both the voice of the speaker, as well as his or her translated words. In addition to that, the translated speech is shown at the bottom of the screen just like subtitles.
All of that sounds very complicated and it is. However, the translation is offered in real-time, which means that you will not need to wait a long time to understand what the other person is saying.
A beta version of Skype Translator is expected to be released by the end of 2014. Initially, the feature will support a limited number of languages and it work only on Windows computers. But as time passes, Microsoft Corp. will probably add support for more languages and devices.
According to Microsoft, Skype Translator is unique since it is the first of its kind. The technology giant claims that the feature offers a grammatically and semantically correct translation, which sounds quite impressive.
One thing is clear, pretty soon the language barrier will not simply be crossed – it will be eliminated. Skype will become even more popular than it already is, especially in Asia.