It’s been something of a sci-fi dream to have the words of one person translated into the native language of another. Now Microsoft is making a big step towards making that a reality. Today, it revealed that the latest version of its Skype Preview app for Windows 10 supports voice translation to mobile and landline phones.
That means if you own a Windows 10 PC and are part of the Windows Insider Program, you can use the latest version of Skype to make a voice call and those words will come out the other end in one of nine languages that are currently supported with the translation feature. Those languages are English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian.
The feature does not work for free; users must have either Skype Credits or a subscription plan to enable the voice translation. Microsoft says that once those are set up, users can then select the dial pad on the Windows 10 preview app, and enter a phone number to see the new Skype Translator option. Tapping it offers the selection of supported languages. Once one of them is picked, users can start the voice call to the mobile phone or landline. The person on the other end will first hear a short message that says the call is being recorded and translated through Skype Translator, and then you and the other person can begin your translated chat.
Microsoft adds that the quality of voice translations should get better the more Skype Translator is used. So far, there’s no word on when this feature will be released to the many other platforms that are supported by Skype.