Skype will translate in real time by the end of the year

Microsoft has unveiled a new technology for Skype that will help you talk to people who speak a different language, in real-time. Skype Translator uses voice recognition and translates foreign languages so you can understand what is being said at the other end of a video call.

The technology is the result of decades of work by Microsoft and the industry at large and it is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams, and the software will be launched this year.

The technology was demonstrated last night at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where a Microsoft employee speaking German spoke to the English speaking Pall. The translation was spoken aloud and appeared in text form.

It will be made available to Skype users before the end of 2014 as a Windows 8 beta app.

Hayley Minn