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Skype's real-time translator now speaks French and German

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After adding Italian and Chinese support a couple of months ago, Microsoft is now bringing French and German to its Skype Translator app. That brings the total number of languages to six, with English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, and Spanish all supported, nearly 30 percent of the world’s native speakers. Skype Translator works by using a modified version of the Skype Windows 8 app to translate spoken words into text or audio. We first used the software back in December during an early preview, and while there were a few translation issues, it works well enough to hold a conversation in a language you do not understand.

While Skype Translator is primarily used for real-time translation between two people who speak and listen to the results, Microsoft is now turning its attention to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Microsoft researcher Ted Hart has helped the company modify Skype Translator so it allows deaf people to experience a Skype call for the first time. Microsoft recently opened up Skype Translator for anyone to try, and with French and German support there's now an even bigger audience for its translation magic. Microsoft’s Skype Translator app is only available on Windows right now, and you’ll need a Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC to download the app from the Windows Store.