Skype’s real-time translation tool is now in an open preview

Whether it’s Hitchhiker’s babel fish, or Star Trek’s universal translator, mankind has often dreamed of being able to converse with someone speaking a totally different language to us. Recently Skype showed off a piece of software that would allow people to converse in real time whilst speaking two different languages, and soon that feature will be available to a limited number of people.

All you have to do is head to the Skype website and register for the service. Once you’ve done that you’ll be added to Skype’s list of people who will be able to try out the service before the end of the year. Sadly it’s only available on Windows 8.1 for the time being, so Mac users are out of luck.

For those of you who don’t know, the translation works with both text and speech. Up to 45 different languages can be translated in text chat, but Microsoft says that only a few can be translated and transcribed from voice in real time. As you can see in the video below it’s not perfect, but it’s a very good start.

Now let’s just pray that they can shrink this tech down to fit into our ears sometime soon.

Tom Pritchard

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