Language barriers to communicating with other people are continually diminishing. Thanks to technology, we have many systems that translate automatically the text we wrote. This is certainly a great advance because we can communicate with other people in a language different than our own.
Skype wants to go one step further, and allow two people that speak different languages, be able to communicate in real-time making use of their native language. That is to say, thanks to Skype Translator (this is the name of the translation function), we will have a simultaneous translation/interpretation system, which translates what we speak to the target language. It translates both the text and the voice, so our interlocutor will hear a translation of what we have said, and in addition, he can read a transcription in his language of the words we have spoken.
For example, if we speak Spanish, and we have a friend who speaks English, we can use Skype Translator to speak with our friends, without the need that anyone stops taking their native language. In the following video we can see the new feature working:
As we can see, to activate the option of simultaneous translation is very simple. So we just need to enable the option of “Translation” within the friend's profile.
Then, we need to choose the written language (writes), and the spoken language (speaks) of our friend.
Now, just select video call, speak loud and clear to our friend, and wait for the magic to happen.
As we can see, we must wait for a time until the translation is processed, so obviously the conversations will not be as smooth as a normal conversation, but we need to be aware of the fact that this instant translation technology is quite new, and therefore still has much room for improvement.
This function is not available on Skype yet. If we want to test it we need to register into the Skype Translator Preview program, which is free and is limited to a certain number of people. To register we need to visit the next site, fill in our details and click on the “Register Now”. If we input the code MTT1724 in the “Registration code” box, you will have more possibilities that they accept you into the program and send you a copy of Skype to try this new feature.
Once we have registered, the following screen will appear confirming the data we have filled.
We will also receive an email confirming that the registration has been successful.
The Preview version with the translation system enabled will begin to be distributed at the end of this year, 2014.
At the moment this feature is only available for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Technical Preview versions of Skype. In addition, at this moment only simultaneous translation of the English and Spanish languages are supported.
We have already registered and we hope to be able to test this new functionality very soon.
by Rubén Hernández