Skype announced today that it has just added Italian and Mandarin to its list of supported languages on its real-time Translator service for voice and video chat.
Skype Translator is like a Star Trek universal translator*
* just not quite as fast, and doesn’t support Klingon.
Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, launched its preview of Skype Translator for Windows users in December, with support for English and Spanish only.
But now in addition to the two new languages, updates to the software include some features intended to make the translated conversations feel more natural. First off, you can hear the other person speak at a low volume, while the translated speech plays at full volume.
You can also mute the translated voice if you only want to only read the transcript, or can choose to have instant messages read to you in any supported language.
Some of the features include:
- Your conversation is translated into another language in near real-time.
- What someone else says is translated back in your language.
- An on-screen transcript of your call is displayed.
- And you can send instant messages across 45+ languages – from Arabic to Welsh.
Skype has also added Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, Maya and Otomi to its list of languages for instant messaging (but not real-time voice translation yet).
If you haven’t tried Skype Translator, you can sign-up for the preview here.