Microsoft showed off Skype Translator for the first time in 2014, and released it as a public preview in January of this year; a new language has been added with support for spoken language translation: Russian.
The Skype Translator blew everyone way when it was first demonstrated by Satya Nadella in 2014. It can translate video-calls from different languages in real-time – It shows the beginning of a world that can communicate without language barriers.
Until now, Skype Translator supported eight languages for real-time speech translation: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Arabic. Now you can say Привет to Russian.
The addition of Russian comes just a few months after Arabic, which was added in March this year.
Besides the nine languages for real-time speech translation, Skype also supports about 50 languages for text translation during a chat – you can find the full list of all languages Skype supports over here.
Skype has built the Translator using advanced machine learning – the more It is used, the better it gets at translating in real-time. Perhaps this is why it is still in the public preview phase; as the system is still gathering data about translations, it is getting better – eventually ready for a proper public release.
“For months, we’ve received many requests to include Russian in Skype Translator’s audio language portfolio, and we are so excited to finally cross this milestone, opening up one of the most dialectically complex languages on earth to anyone with a Skype account,” the Skype team said in a blog post.
Google also uses machine learning for some of the languages in its translator – but Google does not offer real-time speech translation. While Skype Translator is still in the public preview phase, it shows what is possible with the current technology.
Unfortunately, in preview phase, the feature is only available on Windows. You can enable the translator by clicking the ‘globe’ icon in any chat on Windows and selecting the language for both text and spoken translation separately.