Skype Translator has been in preview since the end of last year, but Microsoft has announced that it has now been made official, and it’s rolling out to users of the Skype for Windows desktop app.
In this initial incarnation, Skype Translator supports six languages when it comes to voice translation, namely English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Mandarin.
When it comes to plain text messaging, 50 languages are supported.
The Skype team noted that Translator is built on machine learning tech, and hones itself as it's used, meaning with more people using the service in this broader release, it should get better still.
Microsoft has produced a short video – check it out at the top of this article – which explains how Skype Translator works, and how to set it up.
Microsoft stated: “It has been a long-time dream at Skype to break down language barriers and bring everyone across the globe closer together. Researchers, engineers, and many others across Microsoft have been working hard to make this dream a reality and we are looking forward to bringing this preview technology to more devices.
“Now, you have even more reasons to chat with people around the world – bringing together family, friends, and students. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities to do even more together across not only distances, but also languages.”
As mentioned, the new facility is rolling out to Skype for Windows users in a staged rollout over the next few weeks. You’ll know you’ve got access to it when the new icons (the globe and settings) appear top right in your client, the ones you can see used in the above video clip.