Microsoft Unveils Real-Time Speech Translation for Skype


Skype lets people from different parts of the world to communicate via voice, video or text chat. Now the service is going to add real time speech translation feature. With this feature, Skype will translate the language in real time. So, people speaking different languages can also talk to each other via Skype.

English is not the most commonly spoken language. So, the service will be useful in connecting people not speaking common languages. It will surely add few extra users to Skype.

Microsoft head of Skype and Lync Gurdeep Singh Pall showed off this new speech-to-speech translation technology at first annual CODE Conference. This feature will be available in beta later this year. Microsoft demoed the feature translating Pall’s speech from English into text for transcription on a colleague’s screen in German.

Skype Translate

Microsoft has used the same speech-recognition technology which was used in recently launched Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1. If we look closely, this new real-time speech translation feature is the combination of three different technologies:  speech recognition, text-to-speech and machine translation.  When a speaker starts talking, Skype translator recognizes the words and transcribes them into text. Then text is translated into the language of other person in the chat. Finally  the translated text is spoken into other person’s language.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also promised to make this feature available in as many devices and apps as possible. But company would be able to confirm later this year.