Real-time speech translation coming to Skype later this year

By Jerry Hildenbrand on 27 May 2014 09:16 pm EDT

At the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA tonight, head of Microsoft's Skype and Lync Gurdeep Singh Pall showed off a peek at what he and his team have been working on — real-time speech translation for Skype calls.

The demo showed Pall's English being translated — both the speech and in captions — to German, as his German colleague's voice was translated to English. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the feature would be available (in beta) later this year. The company plans to have the feature on "as many devices and apps as possible."

Source: Tech Crunch

Reader comments

Real-time speech translation coming to Skype later this year


I'm curious to see if it will be functional enough to be used for everyday conversation.

It will probably be as good as any voice recognition software can get though, which varies a lot from person to person.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30STA100-5/

Probably worse IMO. Language translation services are crappy as is now slap on voice recognition to already crappy translation and you will have one big mess

Posted via CB10

+100000 it's just gonna be another addition to the already buggy adware laden Skype

Posted Using the magical typings of da "Q"

I disagree. I have used for a long time the translator bot in Windows Live Messenger from Spanish to French and it worked perfectly provided your sentences are not complex.

Here, you add the speech recognition and the vocal synthesising, which will certainly be not perfect, but shouldn't add so much difficulty to the translating part.

Posted via CB10

Are you aware that Skype for BB10 gets features before Skype for WP?

It sounds crazy but this is the case. Native or not.

Posted via CB10

I seriously hope they are using a different translation engine than the one Bing uses, because even it's written results are TERRIBLE !!!


Posted via CB10

Hmmm.. I've had great results from the Bing translation engine using combos of French, English & Spanish.

Q10SQN100-1/ CB10'n

I have been saying this should come to BBM. I send a message in English and someone that speaks Spanish it would automatically translate it so basically anyone can talk with anyone

Posted via CB10

Dude that's an awesome idea! Someone should voice this to John Chen!

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

The problem is that even with decently accurate translation, some words or phrases have different meanings. If you translate literally, lots of laughs can be had. It would never (not anytime soon, anyways) be perfect.

Posted via CB10

At least you have an idea about what is being said.Had a friend from Brazil on BBM and I was using FancyTran.We had laughs but had a nice chat anyway.

Incurable Q10 Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

Yea i agree would be amazing if bbm incorporate something of the sort like that with a better engine and with its own BlackBerry unique twist.

Send from the amazing powers of the  Z30

I could have used that this week and last!

But I imagine there will be some delay, due to how different languages speak. I think just having text translations would be good enough for me.

That German in the demo pic needs work, bitteschön!

Good start though and nice attempt, but there's a reason that's still beta or earlier.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Well... based on what is written in German on this pic, the translation does not really work as the sentence doesn't make any sense... but we didn't expect something else from Microsoft...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta - STA100-2

Yeah, if the German in the picture is any indication of the quality of the translation, I'd strongly recommend against using Skype's simul-translation for mission-critical applications.

Just imagine the future conversation of a i.e. Spanish user having trouble with Windows getting Skype support from the MS Customer service representative sitting in, i.e. Bangalore, having this translator on and trying to find the source of an error message and the solution for it...

Hilarious... =)

Ferrari ZetaTrenta - STA100-2

It would help if Skype worked well in the first place....

Computer Skype to Computer Skype tends to work well most times.
Anything else.. especially paid for (!!!) calls to phone lines were rather horrendous in quality... - when a Skype call was fine or a normal phone call would be fine too (where the latter is just daylight robbery on a mobile).

Posted via CB10

It's for this kind of work that I love Microsoft, that's why I didn't mind when Microsoft took over Skype

Typed blind on my Q10!

Posted via CB10

Empecemos por una versión nativa de Skype para BlackBerry 10, y no el horrendo port de Android.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z30 OS 10.2.1

BB Voice Control has a hard time with it, doesn't help if you speak Teayownsville or Caaai(r)ns vernacular, not a chance.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Wouldn't it be great if bbm was backwards compatible with Skype and vice versa like MSN Messenger was with Yahoo messenger?

Posted via CB10

I could care less about real-time voice translation. I mean, just how many conversations do you actually have with people who don't speak a common language? I'd hazard a guess at somewhere close to zero. Any effort for Skype on BB10 should be directed at making it do the core stuff well - i.e. native and relatively bug-free.

Hahahaah, I wonder if it'll be able to translate backwards english to forwards english or to another language by mistake. XD

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Hello! Thank you for your article. I’d like to try to compare it to my previous experience of learning Italian lessons through Skype on online classes for free. I did around 10 conversations over Skype with a native speaker from And I was pretty satisfied with their Quality. I think they have a strong teaching quality.Following their course curriculum now I can speak Italian like a native , but I Want to try another option.