Skype Translator’s Magic Connects People Despite Language Differences

Microsoft is thrilled to start rolling out Skype Translator to millions of people—by introducing six voice languages. This includes English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish, as well as 50 other messaging languages into the Skype for Windows desktop app.

It has been a long-time dream at Skype to break down language barriers and bring everyone across the globe closer together. Researchers, engineers and many others across Microsoft have been working hard to make this dream a reality, and we are looking forward to bringing this preview technology to more devices.

As you can imagine, Mandarin is a very challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator. With approximately 10,000 characters and multiple tones, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

Microsoft researchers and scientists at our labs in Beijing, China, who worked very closely with their US-based colleagues, played an instrumental role in building the recognition, language and translation models for Mandarin. In 2012, our team of researchers unveiled the first demonstration of a speech translation system. Since then, they have invested years of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm to make this language in Skype Translator a reality today.



Built on world-class machine learning technology, Skype Translator preview gets better the more it’s used. Early users of the preview have already helped improve it tremendously; and now with this broader release, we are excited to see the additional progress we can make from expanded use.

Here are some inspirational ways our users have utilised Skype Translator:

  • An owner of a small business communicates with his best suppliers through IM
  • A PhD student enhanced his thesis research with the help of experts in other countries
  • A non-profit worker connects doctors and those in need


Whether you are new to this real-time translation capability, or have already been using the preview app, anyone on a Windows PC, Windows-run laptop or Surface tablet can easily use Skype Translator.

The update is currently being introduced to the Skype for Windows desktop app. When you see these NEW Skype Translator icons within your updated app (shown in the red box below), Skype Translator is ready for use.

If you need any help, Skype Support will have more details. If you want to leave any feedback (we love feedback), Skype Community is here for you.

Our long term goal is to translate as many languages as possible across all relevant platforms, and deliver the best Skype Translator experience for our more than 300 million connected customers. We’ll continue to evolve the technology, and we look forward to sharing more milestones with you in the future.

Make your own world a little more magical with Skype Translator!

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