I actually fell short of adjectives when I played that video above. Microsoft’s Skype has indeed carved a mere imagination into reality with its new translation tool, making it possible for two people who speak completely different languages to communicate as if they are kins.
Microsoft today launched the first phase of its Skype Translator preview program for Windows 8.1 users, along with people who have installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview. The new tool had been in discussion for quite a long time. Skype Translator makes it possible for two people living at different coordinates of the globe to communicate in their native language, without having to learn a new one.
The translates accepts audio or text at one end as input and carries it to the other end after translating the source into the required language. That’s all you have to do. You have to just speak in your native language and let Skype Translator do the tough work.
Skype’s official blog-post explains this in a little more detail on how the whole thing works-
Skype Translator’s machine learning protocols train and optimize speech recognition (SR) and automatic machine translation (MT) tasks, acting as the glue that holds these elements together. This “glue” transforms the recognized text to facilitate translation. This process includes the removal of disfluencies (i.e. ‘ahs’ and ‘umms’ as well as re-phrasings), division of the text into sentences, as well as addition of punctuation and capitalization.
Well, it gives us an idea how hard Microsoft has been working on this project. It has spared no expense to make your cross-country conversations smooth and fluid. Microsoft is marketing Skype Translator as a tool for schools, and the company tested it out with students in the US and Mexico.
Business, on the other hand, can also be done in a more fluid way once the Microsoft’s first-rate creation becomes available. The new tool holds the power to eradicate the linguistic barriers and might become a sensation in no time.
This is just the beginning of a journey that will transform the way we communicate with people around the world. Our long-term goal for speech translation is to translate as many languages as possible on as many platforms as possible and deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform for our more than 300 million connected users.
Yes, it’s just the beginning and we look forward to how the Skype Translator will make an impact on the daily lives of people. For now, the preview program will kick-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages with a promise of other languages to be added later on.