Google and Bing Translate are great tools if you’re looking to translate written text, but what about spoken text? Well unless you have access to a live translator, translating spoken text might be a bit hard, but that’s something Microsoft wants to change. Speaking during the Code Conference in California, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, revealed an upcoming feature for Skype: live translation.
What this means is that if two speakers of different languages were to chat with each other over Skype, their words could then be translated in real time to the other user. This would be read out loud by the computer. During the demonstration, an English and German speaker spoke to one another, and the translations were carried out live, with the words spoken by either side translated on the fly to the other user.
It was an impressive performance, although some felt that more could be done. We guess this is where it gets tricky, because sometimes during translations, the translator will translate the words literally, and might not necessarily take into consideration the context in which the word was said, which can end up being rather confusing. This is why whenever you translate a website, it does not always make sense, but it’s good enough for you to get the gist.
Nadella announced that the live translation feature will be launched in beta this year, starting with Windows 8 users, before it is rolled out across the board to all platforms that Skype is available on, including mobile. As to whether this would be a free feature, Nadella was not sure, but it will be during the feature’s beta period. What do you guys think? Is live translation a Skype feature you’d gladly pay for?