Microsoft Demos ‘Skype Translator’ Real-Time Language Translation, Coming As Windows 8 Beta App In 2014

Recently appointed Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella had an onstage conversation that lasted more than an hour at the inaugural Code Conferences in Ranco Palos Verdes, California, and among the topics that came up is language translation. Not by coincidence, the planned topic allowed Nadella to demo a new capability Microsoft is developing for Skype.

The capability is called "Skype Translator," which will allow users who speak different languages to communicate with each other. During the demonstration, Skype showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and German to English.


"Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era," Microsoft explains in a blog post.

According to Microsoft, Skype is home to more than 300 million connected users each month and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation per day. However, there are language barriers that stand in the way of productivity and human connection. Skype Translator is supposed to break down those barriers.

Microsoft plans to roll out Skype Translator as a Windows 8 beta app by the end of the year.