Skype is making international communication easier with its latest release. Plan for the end of the year, Microsoft wants to offer real-time translation, making communicating in multiple languages possible and easy. It takes out the issue of programs like Google Translate that are often needed to work out foreign languages in the chat box.
The new tool is being called Skype Translator, and will be an extension of the translation software that has been in development for the last 10 years. It is currently being used in Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, which is available on Windows 8 only. However, this new one for the video communication software will be available for all systems.
There is certainly support for speech translation software. Text translation is already available, and has proven to be successful. While it does not translate everything 100 percent, it does help to get the gist of a conversation. It is used all over the world to help people communicate, sometimes within businesses when dealing with a customer from a foreign country.
Having the translation software built into the Skype system will be highly valuable. People use the software for all types of communication needs, and it may even help with learning a foreign language.
There have been plans for this type of software for some time, and it is a natural progression from the current speech recognition software. Speech recognition software is something that many devices use, and need to be programmed to understand different languages. The basis of that can be used for Skype to make international communication much easier.
It will take some time to get the software out to the general public. Right now, it is only in the development stages, but there are hopes that it will be available in beta form by the end of the year. After that, it will take some time to get the bugs out of the system and include elements that people believe will be useful for communicating through the video software.
Microsoft believes it will take around two and a half years to finally get the software out to the general public. There are also beliefs that it will be a paid add-on to the current software due to the time and technology that will go into the system as a whole. After all, not everybody will find a use to the software since many people around the world happily communicate in English—the most commonly spoken language around the world.
So far, the software has shown capabilities of translating between English and German. These two languages are very similar in some cases, and both have similar roots. It will be interesting to see if English to Chinese, Japanese or another similar language will be possible, and how long it will take to develop that software. Translating into the European languages is more likely going to be the first focus.
People will have to wait, but it seems like software that is worth waiting for. Skype Translation could change the whole way that people communicate, and will make international communication much easier.
By Alexandria Ingham