Microsoft recently unveiled its new Skype Translator! As the name suggests, it’s an application for Skype’s chat software that enables cross-sectional video conversations absolutely free with an aided speech translator between different languages!
This is an exceptional breakthrough as it works in almost real time. The technology was validated and debuted at the Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California, where an actual call was made to show the audience how brilliantly this app works. The high official of Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella called upon stage Skype’s Vice President Mr. Gurdeep Pall who placed a video call to, Diana Heinrichs-a German-speaking Microsoft employee.
Heinrichs was first greeted in English, the language recognized by the software and translated into German along with subtitles beneath. Her response to Pall’s greeting was translated from German to English likewise and transmitted to the latter, the software repeating her words accordingly. It was a few minutes conversation between the two giving a lucid picture of how the software is meant to work; the software’s translating ability was tested by discussing intricate topics like London’s geography on top of Indian Food- the result was remarkable.
The only glitch in the system comes in the form of syntax errors, e.g., when Heinrich told Pall something, it was translated something like, “I have many meetings with my colleagues in Redmond and I take the opportunity to see her fiancé my.” This however is a minor mishap that all of us Google Translate users are familiar with, it will take some time for Skype to figure out solutions to such errors.
It is apparent that Microsoft professionals have really worked explicitly to make this successful as Microsoft claims that the technology has taken quite some time in the making, its researchers working hard to solve the nuances of diverse dialects and discrepancies in speech over a number of years.
Head of Microsoft’s Machine Translation Team, Arul Menezes puts his team’s effort as, “It’s not just repeating a single word……Sometimes, you’ll go three words into a sentence and then back up and restate it. In some languages, it’s more of a challenge than others, especially languages like Spanish, where words have to agree in grammatical gender.”
For all computer/Skype devotees out there, good news is that Microsoft is confident to propose a beta version of Skype Translator to Windows 8 users at the end of this year. Very soon Microsoft will know if this project is a success or not when 300 million people from around the Globe, logging into Skype each month, will start using it! Let’s just hope it is! Check out the youtube video below for more: