Microsoft's Skype Translator Preview shows off real-time audio translation

Microsoft has unveiled Skype Translator Preview, a new service capable of translating English to Spanish (and vice versa) in real-time.

What appears to be magic is actually years of work Microsoft has put into perfecting the voice recognition and translation service, offering near perfect translation results in a few seconds.

Skype Translator has been previewed before, translating English and German, but in the preview build users will only be able to speak in English or Spanish.

Microsoft is targeting the technology at schools, allowing people from across the world to communicate in different languages.

In the video, two students talk on Skype Translator, one in New Mexico and the other in Seattle. Even though the video is promotional, it shows how the translation is shown in text and translated audio.

Skype is already popular in schools, allowing students to talk to people all over the world. Skype Translator removes the boundaries of language from the equation.

Microsoft plans to add more languages when Skype Translator is officially released, most likely with the launch of Windows 10 in 2015. The service could change the way business interact around the world, if Microsoft nails the functionality.

Skype Translator will also translate over 40 languages in written text. This should serve for anyone looking for quick translation, although it is unclear how smart the translation service is at dictation and meaning, something Google Translate struggles with.

The preview is available now on Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Developer Preview.

If you want to test out Skype Translator, Microsoft has an invite system available.