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Skype Translator Preview adds Mandarin, the language of 1 billion people

April 8, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Translator_Chinese_V3

Story and images by Mashable

Skype Translator Preview, the multi-lingual video conferencing tool from Microsoft, has added what is arguably the world's most popular language: Mandarin Chinese.

SkypeTranslator

Starting today, Skype Translator Preview, which is still in invite-only beta and only works on Windows 8.1 and above, can do real-time voice translations of Mandarin and Italian. As with the preview's previous language skills, Skype Translator can, in real time, translate spoken words from English to Mandarin and Mandarin to English, creating a near fluent conversation between two people who might otherwise not be able to communicate.

The translation is not yet perfect, according to Microsoft Research's Olivier Fontana, but both Italian and Mandarin Chinese have reached a level of competency where the Skype Translator team is comfortable releasing the update to the tens of thousands of people currently in the invite-only program.

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