No Spanish? No Problem: Skype's New Translator ToolBy Dania Vargas Austryjak
Connecting people from around the world, helping them understand.
In December 2014, Skype announced the launching of Skype Translator Preview. “A new chapter of communication,” as Skype executive Gurdeep Pall put it on the company's blog. A revolutionizing communication tool that is not only connecting people worldwide but also helping people understand each other… a real-time text and voice translator.
Translator software is already commonly used. But Skype’s new Translator tool is something else. After a few months of trial an error, the tool has been released with the purpose of breaking down language barriers in business, relationships, counseling, etc.
The tool is fairly simple to use. It’s basically the known interface from Skype with the Translator tool incorporated. You can choose the person you want to talk to from your contacts list, set the translator on, select the spoken language of the person you’ll talk to, as well as their written language... And now you are ready to understand each other.
Translator will receive the spoken message and translate it to your language, as well as show the written version in both languages. The transcript can be downloaded afterward if you’d like to review it. Although the translation might not yet be perfect at this stage, the quality of the translations is expected to be gradually improved. Its performance also improves the more you use it.
A great example on how people are using Skype Translator is the non-profit organization Pro Mujer, a non-profit based in New York City which helps Latin-American women become financially independent citizens and community leaders. Pro Mujer can now reach out to these women, communicating and providing guidance and ensuring that both parties are able to understand each other, despite geographical and cultural differences.
Skype Translator is currently available for Windows 8.1 and for Window Phone in 50 languages including English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Microsoft is hoping they can reach other operative systems soon and “deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform,” as Gurdeep Pall has stated.
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