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Skype New Service: Lost in Translation?

Published on 17 May 16

Google Translate, one of Google's major functions, has been farmed out to Skype. Used daily by almost 200 million users, Google finds it easier to transfer them to Skype translation. As a result, over 300 million people around the world agreed to participate in testing the new service. No wonder the desire to steer the flow of customers to the new service in a short time span didn’t contribute to improvement of the service. Consequently, some roadblocks on the way to a perfect translation service still remain.

What is the service about?

Having the option to translate your messages immediately, Skype strives for more excellence - a real-time translation. While this sounds very cool, as it turns out, it’s not easy to pull such service off. Basically, the service is designed to record the words you say and translate them to the person with whom you are on the Skype chat. At first it seems like a service that helps overcome all language barriers, but handful of users were not quite satisfied with it.

The second and assumingly improved addition to Skype Translator is that it can provide translation into 40 languages. Other options include muting the translation so that the listener can read it and the option of a partial translation.

What are the main drawbacks?

Speaking of the flaws of the Skype Translator, many customers wish it could be slightly faster. This, however, is not the biggest inconvenience of this translating technology. Unfortunately, users have to put effort into pronouncing the words slowly and precisely. This actually causes difficulties for people with thick accents.

Another source of inconvenience is that the service is optimized on the basis of Windows 8 and Windows 10, while the many users are working on Mac or other Windows versions.

While these drawbacks seem to be fixable, the problem of recognizing colloquial and idiomatic expressions calls for some major improvement. This really can set the users off, given the fact that the Skype Translating technology at its heart is meant for informal communication. It would be reasonable to assume that Microsoft would wipe out such flaws since version one, but, unfortunately, the improvement didn’t occur in this section.

Another downside of Skype Translation according to experts from is the language choice. The trial version was run based on German translation which turned out to be unavailable. Besides, the French and Arabic languages were completely left out. Instead the Translator is available in the far less wide-spread Italian and Mandarin. Therefore, the users believe that the service would have been so much better if those languages were included by the creators.

In conclusion…

Skype Translator has just begun to develop its reputation. But at this stage it seems practically impossible to outshine the translation technology of Google. As a result, Skype team is up for some serious work.

This blog is listed under Digital Media & Games , Telecommunications and Mobility Community

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