Microsoft recently announced that it is taking the final steps towards broader availability of its amazing Skype Translator capabilities: Windows Insiders can now test voice translation for calls to mobiles and landlines using Skype Preview on Windows 10.
“Since its introduction in 2014, Skype Translator has made it easier for you to connect with people around the world on Skype no matter where they are,” the Skype Team announced. “You can now use Skype to call people on their phones and communicate across languages, even if they do not have Skype.”
What this means is that Windows Insiders using pre-release versions of Windows 10 can now access a version of the Skype Preview app that enables voice translation for calls to mobiles and landlines. This capability was previously available only on calls to other Skype clients.
Note that you will need Skype credit or a Skype subscription to make these calls, but that is always the case with calls to mobile and landline phones.
According to Microsoft, the new Skype Translator option will appear when you make a normal phone call via the Skype dial pad. You can select a Skype Translator option next to the call button to view available options. Voice translation isn’t automatic, so you need to select the translation language before making a call.
“Once the person on the other side picks up they will hear a short message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through Skype Translator and then you can start talking,” Microsoft explains. You can also save translation language options for individual contacts, Microsoft says.
Skype Translator currently supports nine spoken languages—Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish—and Microsoft says that the quality of translations will keep improving as more and more people use the service.
Microsoft also notes that the new version of the Skype Preview app that is available to Windows Insiders supports contact details sharing, the ability to capture and share video messages, the ability to mark conversations as read or unread, and the ability to forward calls to a mobile or landline phone.
I mean, I wouldn’t touch Skype Preview with your computer. Not yet. But it’s nice to see these improvements coming. I look forward to enjoying them next year. 🙂