Skype Translator Preview works on Windows 8.1 or preview copies of Windows 10, and it works by translating voice input from an English or Spanish speaker into text and translated audio. An English speaker will hear a translation from a Spanish speaker, and vice versa. Microsoft previously demonstrated the technology working between English and German, but Spanish will be the only language outside of English that will be initially supported during the preview.
Microsoft is marketing Skype Translator as a tool for schools, and the company tested it out with students in the United States and Mexico. Skype is already popular in the classroom, with teachers participating in videoconferences to connect their schools to classrooms across the globe. While tests and demonstrations have been in limited and controlled experiments, Microsoft’s move today opens up its Skype Translator to a much wider audience to test it in the real world.
Microsoft is also translating instant messaging conversations through Skype Translator, with more than 40 languages supported. If you’re interested in testing Skype Translator then you’ll need to request an invite at Microsoft’s Skype site, and using registration code MTT1724 may help you get an invite a little quicker.