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Some Observations on Skype Translator Preview: Impressive Translation, But Don’t Miss Transcription

There are other Skype Translator reviews (Mashable, etc) but I’ll just point out some things I noticed from my perspective that might be interesting to my audience.

  • Only Skype (Skype4C) contacts can be enabled for “Write” and “Speak” translation (in the Preview at least). (sorry, no Lync/Skype4B)
  • You enable translation by going to the Skype contact card and designating the “Write” and “Speak” languages of the contact. (Skype doesn’t auto-detect language)
    • currently the Preview only supports Spanish <-> English translation
    • English <-> English transcription (transcription in the IM pane)
  • “Speak” on has Spanish at this time; “Write” has many common languages. (~40?)
  • With “Speak” translation, you hear the actual voice of the other Skype user, then in a moment the translation. (also, there is a text based transcript in the IM panel)
    • You can start talking before the translation is done
    • I’ve noticed other people say this as well, but it’s hard to not think “United Nations”
  • You can also set the language to English on both sides and get a Transcript!
    • in my tests it is VERY accurate
    • Talking on top of each other does not cause a problem.
  • You can download a transcript if Skype did actual translation between languages, you only see the “transcript” in the IM panel if there is no translation (my experience)

Some Screen Shots

You designate a Skype contact’s written and spoken language in the Skype contact card. Only works with Skype contacts.

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Set your own Translation settings, including what you sound like

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The logo

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English to English Transcript (full screen)

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Just English transcript

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Notice at the beginning of a Translation or Transcription call Skype speaks the below notice:

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A little technical help from Skype

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Downloadable HTML transcript

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3 comments:

  1. First of all i would like to thank you for the great and informative entry. I has to admit that I have never heard about this information I have noticed many new facts for me. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful and attractive information and I will be waiting for other interesting posts from you in the nearest future. Keep it up.
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  2. This will really be great. It can help a lot on my learning of how to speak in spanish skype at http://preply.com/en/spanish-by-skype

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  3. I am not a teacher of any foreign language. But I am a student who sometimes finds some websites with important and useful content. Some times the information is in a language that I don't understand. And I have to use the Google translate tool. I have observed that it does not translate the language correctly and also using this tool has in fact made me dumb. Earlier I use to pickup different words from different languages. Now it is nearly impossible to do so as the tool automatically translates other language. And I really liked the useful information. Will be visiting this site frequently.
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