Skype to translate audio in real time – the future has arrived!

Microsoft, Skype

Microsoft CEO Satyna Nadella has dropped a bit of a bombshell: later this year Skype will be getting real-time audio translation on Windows 8.1. For real.


How space-age is this? The idea is that you will be able to hold a conversation with someone speaking a completely different language – the app translating on the fly.


According to TechNet, the way it works is based not on traditional translation software but instead on a more complex “neural network” language analysis. However it works though, check out the video below which should give some idea of what it will look like.

Whilst it looks awesome, we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised – a couple of years ago Microsoft demo’d an early prototype, which you can see here translating Chinese:

What’s brilliant is that with it being only 2014, this means we could conceivably have a Universal Translator by 2151 – in line with Star Trek universe canon.

The Skype update is due to roll out to Windows 8.1 users before the end of the year – hopefully it’ll make the leap to other platforms soon after too. We can’t wait to try it.

James O’Malley
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