Skype Translator Speaks Russian Now

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Skype with 2 Comments

Skype Translator Speaks Russian Now

Microsoft announced a major update to the Skype Translator functionality that’s built into its Skype communications products: Now, you can translate spoken words between Russian and other supported languages in real time.

“Here at Skype, we are passionate about breaking down barriers,” the Skype team writes in a new post to its Garage & Updates blog. “Whether it be communicating with loved ones at a distance, solving problems in real time, or speaking to someone in an entirely different language, we love bringing people together in new ways.”

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As you may know, Skype supports two types of language translations services: It can translate written text between over 50 languages. And it can now translate spoken text between 8 languages: Arabic, English, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, and now Russian. This latter capability is exactly as exciting as it sounds: As people speak naturally in their own language, the speech is translated to the language of the other person in the conversation.

“Russian is the eighth most popular spoken language in the world and our Russian-speaking customers around the world have always been particularly enthusiastic about Skype Translator,” the Skype team explains. “For months, we’ve received many requests to include Russian in Skype Translator’s audio language portfolio and we are excited to finally cross this milestone, opening up one of the most dialectically complex languages on earth to anyone with a Skype account.”

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Like other machine learning technologies, Skype Translator gets better as its used more often, so the quality of the translations keeps going up. If you’d like to test spoken Russian translations, or any other supported real time spoken language translation, open a message window in Skype for Windows desktop and then click the Skype Translator (globe) button.

 

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    wright_is Alpha Member #1319 - 1 month ago

    I haven't tried the Skype Translator, but I hope it does a better job than Google's Translate service. That makes for some attrocious translations, and sometimes downright dangerous! Microsoft's automatic translation of its own technical websites (Technet, MSDN etc.) are also pretty poor in places.

    The worst example I found was when I had to translate some documentation into German. I thought I could save some time and throw it through Google Translate to get the basic text and just correct it, but the German was so bad (and dangerous), I gave up and translated it completely by hand.

    Dangerous? It was a manual for some hardware and included some safety information, which Google managed to turn on its head! For example:

    "Do not open the case, high voltage electricity inside."

    Was translated to:

    "Öffnen Sie das Gehäuse, Starkstrom drinnen."

    Which is: "open the case, high voltage electricity inside."

    Funnier, but probably not a good argument for buying the device was:

    "Do not open the case, no user serviceable parts inside."

    was translated into the equivalent of:

    "Open the case, no parts inside."

    Interestingly, using abbreviations, as opposed to formal grammar, seems to work better.