Universal Translation: With Skype and Bing, It’s No Longer Science Fiction

 Are language barriers a thing of the past? Is there a way to avoid unreliable translation in international business meetings?  This sci-fi future is now one step closer. When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced last week that near-real time translation software is coming from Skype as a Windows 8 beta app by the end of 2014, the futurists at Microsoft for Work did a backflip of joy: software that can translate any major language to any other, almost immediately, performed by software algorithm.

In an increasingly international world, language should not be a barrier to conducting business. With the launch of the new Skype feature this fall, it won’t need to be.

Needless to say, this is a game changer.

The service is a result of more than 10 years of research and development by the team at Microsoft Research, and is the realization of technologies proposed by both Star Trek and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Check out this video of the service in action:

  

Bing already offers a Klingon translation service, so near-real time translation in Skype means that your business calls (or your on-screen negotiations with the Empire of Kahless) no longer require costly translation services. For companies conducting international business—and especially companies in emerging markets where translation services are unavailable or unreliable—Skype’s service opens previously locked doors.

In an increasingly international world, language should not be a barrier to conducting business. With the launch of the new Skype feature this fall, it won’t need to be.

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