Earlier this week Microsoft announced that they have developed a real-time translation feature for Skype. The real-time translation tool will provide nearly-instant subtitles for the words spoken by the people on a Skype call. In addition to the subtitles you can hear a translation of spoken words. Microsoft says that this feature will be in a beta version of Skype later this year. Watch the video below for a demonstration of the translation feature. (Jump to the two minute mark if you just want to see the demo without the explanation from the developers).
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Applications for Education
Real-time translation over Skype has the potential to take digital penpals to a new level. I can imagine classrooms around the world connecting to talk and learn about each others’ cultures and languages.