Skype has expanded its translation capabilities to include Arabic. This brings the number of spoken languages the service is capable of recognising eight languages, which also includes English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.
Specifically, Skype Translator now includes Modern Spoken Arabic (MSA); which is the formal form of Arabic and used in journalism. It won’t cover most dialects that vary from region to region, but then again few translation services are capable of dealing with the plethora of dialects that appear in any language.
The additional language means that Skype Translator is now capable of directly translating any speech made in one of the eight languages into text for another language. Microsoft cautions that the software is not perfect yet, and works best when translating to or from English. However, the announcement notes that the deeplearning system is continuously adapting and will improve as more users come on board.
In addition to spoken languages, Skype Translator also works with 50 written languages. It’s a long list that Microsoft hopes will be used for people to communicate with one another even if they don’t actually speak the same language.