Microsoft has updated its Skype Translator software with two new languages – Italian and Chinese (Mandarin) to the current offering of English and Spanish.
“As you can imagine, Mandarin is a very challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator,” mentioned Microsoft’s Yasmin Khan. “With approximately 10,000 characters and multiple tones, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.”
Microsoft researchers and scientists in China and the US have been testing and building the recognition, language and translation model for Mandarin. In 2012, the software company has first demonstrated capability, but today is the first time it has been made available publicly.
There’s also have an option to hear the instant messages people send in the four different languages, and support for continuous recognition when someone is talking on a call. Volume controls are improved now, you’ll hear the translation at full volume, and the other party at a lower volume. Users can also mute translations if they would prefer to only read the transcript.
Google is also working on the similar translation capabilities, making it faster and easier to use the app for translating in-person conversations and printed text.
If anyone interested in trying out the Skype Translator then they will need to sign up to the preview program. However, the company has not yet revealed when it plans to roll out this new update more broadly. Here is a video which shows how to set up a Skype Translator.