Looking to further conversations between the likes of refugees and their new neighbours, Microsoft has added a new functionality to Skype, which makes it possible for the VOIP tool to translate Arabic as it’s being spoken. While it still needs some work, Microsoft is keen to see the tool expand its uses to help families and loved ones better communicate over longer distances also.
Microsoft has been developing its live translation feature for some time, with the idea of making it possible for more people to communicate than ever before. In one particular way, bridging Arabic with the English speaking world has a lot of potential to improve difficult relationships, especially among those who have recently fled to a new country.
With the numbers of people entering Europe from war-torn countries in the Middle East, many of them Arabic, it’s very possible that Skype could help those now living in proximity to speak to one another. Although as TechCrunch points out, the service isn’t quite perfect yet, Microsoft supposedly felt happy enough with the service that it’s put it out there for all to use.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnEbQtp_r3A’]
In total, Skype can live translate eight different languages in real time, including English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and now of course, Arabic as well. It seems likely that as more people use the service – which can be activated through a small button on the main Skype screen – that Microsoft will expand the number of available languages too.
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KitGuru Says: There’s not really anyone in my life who doesn’t speak at least one common language with me, so this isn’t something I’ve tried out myself. Have any of you made use of Skype’s live translation service? Does it work well?