Microsoft is working on a real-time Skype translation tool that could go a long way toward eliminating language barriers once and for all, and you can preview it right now. Skype announced on Monday that people who signed up for its Skype Translator preview program can start using it right now on any devices they own that run on Windows 8.1.
“The preview program will kick-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages,” Skype explains. “Skype Translator will open up endless possibilities for people around the world to connect, communicate and collaborate; people will no longer be hindered by geography and language.”
This is just a preview, of course so we shouldn’t expect it to work perfectly just yet as Microsoft and Skype are still ironing out some bugs. That said, Microsoft says the service will learn as it goes and thus should get better the more you use it. The service will also support more and more languages in the coming months, so you want to speak with someone who speaks German or French and have it translated, you’ll probably be able to try it out soon.
Check out a video showing Skype Translator in action below.