Available in preview form since December 2014, Microsoft’s amazing Skype Translator app is now broadly available for anyone wishing to try it out. Skype Translator lets two people who speak different languages communicate in real time, a bit of computer science wizardry straight out of an Isaac Asimov book.
“Skype’s mission is to bring people together from all over the world, and with Skype Translator we are breaking down language barriers that have historically made it challenging for friends and families to connect,” Skype’s Yasmin Khan explains in a post to the Skype Garage & Updates blog.
Skype Translator Preview is available in Windows Store app form, meaning it runs on Windows 8.1 or newer only, so you will need to head over to the Windows Store to snag your free copy. (You will need to uninstall the Skype Windows Store app first.)
The app currently supports 51 languages for text (IM) chat and four spoken languages—English, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin. With voice, you can choose whether the app translates the spoken words or just provides a text transcript. You can save the text transcript to your PC, too.
Over time, Microsoft hopes to support many more languages for both types of communication, and to do so on as many relevant platforms as possible. But this is already pretty fricking amazing as-is, no?