Skype’s real-time language translator is about to get even smarter.
Microsoft on Wednesday launched the second phase of its Skype Translator preview program, bringing support for two new languages: Chinese (Mandarin) and Italian in addition to English and Spanish, which first launched in December. For the uninitiated, Skype Translator uses real-time speech translation technologies to let you have a conversation with someone over the Internet who speaks a different language.
“As you can imagine, Mandarin is a very challenging language to learn,” Skype’s Yasmin Khan wrote in a blog post. “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 said that its researchers and scientists in Beijing worked “very closely” with their U.S.-based counterparts to construct the recognition and translation models for Mandarin.
At this point, Skype Translator is still a pre-release feature, and is only available to those running Windows 8.1 and above. Microsoft is using this preview phase to gather feedback as users test the service.
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SOURCE: PC Mag, Angela Moscaritolo