Microsoft Japan Co. has launched a new translation feature that can handle Japanese for its Skype internet calling service. It provides immediate translations of entire conversations, in both voice and text.
The feature, which launched Friday, is intended to allow people who speak different languages to easily take part in voice and video calls. Calls between Skype members are free of charge.
In addition to Japanese, the feature handles English, Chinese, Arabic and six other languages. Microsoft Japan believes the new feature will be useful in making overseas hotel reservations as well as in the education field to facilitate international exchange programs between schools. … (read more)
Source: The Japan News
Digital Trends has more:
Tina Sieber writes: English is the second most commonly spoken language on the planet, with about 1.2 billion speakers across the globe. Mandarin, a dialect of Chinese, is spoken by almost 1.4 billion. These common languages help facilitate conversation across the globe, but their popularity spans not even a quarter of the world’s populace.
The ability to communicate in your native language is an advantage, especially in business, even if your partner is fluent. Conversing in the native language of a friend or business partner, however, is an act of courtesy which can strengthen a relationship.
What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could communicate in whatever your language you’re comfortable with, while also speaking in the language of the listener? This idea is the foundation of many science-fiction stories, but Microsoft’s new Skype Translator hopes to make it science fact.
The future of translation is invite-only
Registration for the Skype Translator Preview is still open. If you’re using Windows 8/8.1/10 preview and are interested in commonly spoken languages like English, Spanish, Mandarin, or German, you may have a better chance of receiving an invitation.
It took us several weeks before we received an invitation. Fortunately, only one person in a conversation needs to have Skype Translator. Once you’re in you can invite anyone into a translator-aided conversation with you.
A familiar Skype interface
Microsoft recommends that you uninstall your current version of Skype. We missed that during the initial setup and still managed to get it running.
The Skype Translator Preview sports the familiar Skype interface. On the far left you can see your recent messages. A horizontal scroll to the right shows your favorites and people on your contact list. In the top left you’ll find shortcuts for calling a phone number, setting up a group call, and searching people by name, Skype Name, or email. You can toggle your own status and access account information via your profile icon in the top right.
Right-click anywhere and the top and bottom portion of your current window will be overlayed by a horizontal list of your messages on the top and shortcuts to adding a contact or saving a phone number at the bottom. You can also access these additional commands with the keyboard shortcut Windows + Z or by clicking the button in the bottom right. … (read more)