Microsoft has launched two new languages on its Skype Translator service, Italian and Chinese Mandarin. It follows the two original languages launched in December, English and Spanish.
Skype Translator allows people from all across the world to speak to one another through voice and text translation. Even though the text translation supports dozens of different languages, the voice part only supports four.
"As you can imagine, Mandarin is a very challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator," said Microsoft’s Yasmin Khan. "With approximately 10,000 characters and multiple tones, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.”
Microsoft has not detailed future plans for the service, but we expect languages like Arabic, French and Korean will be added in the near future. Microsoft seems to be playing to the best markets, considering over one billion people speak Mandarin and Microsoft is popular in Italy.
Skype Translator has also been updated to hear instant messages in up to four languages and the service will now turn down all other volume sources while having a voice chat.
Microsoft is still testing Skype Translator in beta and we expect it to stay that way until at least Windows 10 is available. Even after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft may still keep Skype Translator from the public as it works to create more accurate voice translation.
Google is also working on a voice translation platform, already offering one of the largest libraries of text translation, even though most of the suggestions are wrong when it comes to long paragraphs of languages like Korean, Japanese and Arabic.