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Microsoft Translator will soon handle multi-lingual group conversations in real time

Microsoft's Translator service will soon support translating multi-lingual group conversations in real time. As reported by ZDNet, Microsoft demoed an early version of the feature on stage at its Future Decoded event in London.

During the demo, Microsoft showed Translator handling a conversation between three people conducted in French, English and German in real time. As the conversation played out, each person saw a real-time text translation of what was being said via a phone app. From ZDNet:

"The idea is to say 'Everybody has a smart device, a smartphone or a tablet. What if we could harness the power of those smart devices to enable real-time, multilingual conversation translation for an in-person situation?'," said Olivier Fortana, director of product strategy for Microsoft Translator, in a pitch that suggested the translation service might be available offline.

While still a prototype, Microsoft is hoping to release a preview version of the new app by the end of the year. At that time, the translator service is planned to support 9 spoken languages and 60 for text. Given the fact that translator only supports conversations between two speakers at the moment, that's pretty impressive.

It's expected the improved Translator features will come to Skype, as well as Microsoft's apps on Android, iOS and Windows.

Download Microsoft's Translator for Windows 10 PC and Mobile (opens in new tab)

QR: Translator

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

23 Comments
  • Well done MS!
  • it will also store all conversations on microsofts servers .. officially allowing ms to listen and store everything .. and no one complains.. you have all lost your minds..
  • Oh jeez.
  • jeez what ?? it's the truth..
  • If by "truth" you mean you're paranoid about the anonymous telemetry that every major software company in the world collects to monitor the usage scenarios of its services, than yes.
  • Shut the **** up
  • It's probably a bad idea you're on the internet right now. Actually you probably shouldn't have internet at all if you're so worried about this.
  • They should add it to the messaging app as well.
  • Messaging app will never be able to do more than bare minimum required for SMS. Skype ​is the place for innovation.
  • Now let's hope for a better live tile Icon.
  • That's the news
  • Great! Now, I can replace Google Translate with this because it is more intelligent enough for me.
  • Wow I was thinking this morning, what's the next innovation for Translator. They haven't updated it for a while
  • The next big thing for MS Translator.
  • Here i was hoping they would add zulu
  • Looks very promising
  • A great addition. Here's hoping these innovations come with a new design.
  • So...if Microsoft is working in this, what about supporting Cortana with more languages for more regional support? Many countries are still waiting for a meaningful support. Cortana is still very niche.
  • I hope they improve the actual translation support in general. I was in France for a week and a half and neither the Canadian nor France French dialects understood some of the words I was throwing at it.
  • as it translates words with no option for alternative meanings it's basically, useless... Which is a pitty as I like that it's from MS and not Google, but seriously, I have translated like 20 % of things right using MS Translator app...
  • E. g. I type "oko" which has different meanings, but the main is "eye" and it translates it into "St" - WTF?! :D
  • Owh! "Bra" means "Good" in Swedish, good to know. (^_^)
  • No Khmer translation yet