Skype Translator preview goes live with real-time Spanish and English translation

16 Dec 2014 | Author: | One comment »

Microsoft’s ‘Star Trek’ Skype translator turns English into Spanish.

MICROSOFT-OWNED Skype has announced the public availability of Skype Translator, the firm’s speech recognition software that can decode languages in real time with the help of intelligent translation technology.Skype, Microsoft’s videoconferencing platform, is moving a step closer to becoming a real-life “Star Trek” universal translator with its Skype Translator preview program. “(A)nd 40+ instant messaging languages will be available to Skype customers who have signed-up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1 on the desktop or device,” Pall said in a blog post. “We are starting with English and Spanish, and as more people use the Skype Translator preview with these languages, the quality will continually improve.“Skype is now removing another barrier to make it possible for people to communicate irrespective of what language they speak,” announced Skype’s corporate vice president Gurdeep Pall on the company’s official blog. The service was first demonstrated in May, aping Star Trek’s universal translator or the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, translating a conversation between German and English.

So make sure you sign up, let your language preferences be known and get involved!” he said. “One classroom of children speaking Spanish and the other speaking English, Skype Translator removed this language barrier and enabled them to communicate – the video shows their wonderful reactions,” he said. Pall said Skype Translator is the fruit of Microsoft’s investments in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade. “Our long-term goal for speech translation is to translate as many languages as possible on as many platforms as possible and deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform for our more than 300 million connected users,” he said. It also requires a PC running either Windows 8.1 or the Windows 10 Technical Preview, and requires an invitation; you can get on the list through Microsoft’s Skype Translator Website. Still, the team noted that the feature is still in “preview mode” and operates by self-learning algorithms that will sort out its translation errors through continual use. A video below shows some school kids from America and Mexico using the software to communicate without the need to understand each other’s language. µ

It can understand speech and then rapidly translate it into another language before using text-to-speech systems to speak the translation back to the user, or in this case the other party. Microsoft says it’s spent 10 years researching the technology, which relies on machine learning to tell the difference between words like “they’re” and “their,” and to eliminate fillers like “um” that come up in natural conversation.

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  1. Thank you for this great article, I would like to take the chance for inviting Spanish tutors and students who are looking for practcing Spanish online over skype to view this wonderful website that offers Spanish Skype classes I am currently taking Spanish classes there and the quality presented is Excellent and satisfying

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