Skype Translator Now Speaks Russian
Add Russian to the growing number of languages available to users of Microsoft's real-time audio translation technology.Skype users can now add Russian to the list of languages the software's real-time translation service can interpret for them. "Russian is the eighth most popular spoken language in the world and our Russian-speaking customers around the world have always been particularly enthusiastic about Skype Translator," announced Microsoft in an Oct. 11 blog post. "For months, we've received many requests to include Russian in Skype Translator's audio language portfolio and we are excited to finally cross this milestone, opening up one of the most dialectically complex languages on earth to anyone with a Skype account." For those keeping count, Skype can now translate a total of nine spoken languages while its users conduct voice or video calls. So far, it can provide translations voiced by a computer and displayed by on-screen text between the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian and Arabic. The latter, said Microsoft today, also joins the over 50 languages supported by Skype's text-to-text translation capabilities. Microsoft first debuted the Skype Translator feature in 2014 to showcase the company's progress in adapting its machine learning research into a commercial product. The first demo involved a real-time conversation between English and German speakers, but by the time the company allowed the general public to take the technology for a spin later that same year, Microsoft settled on English and Spanish as the first language pair.
The company finally began rolling out Skype Translator to millions of Windows users a year ago, complete with support for six spoken languages. Last December, the company ported the technology to its iOS and Android apps to help facilitate in-person conversations.