With the invention of the internet, the world has never been more connected. Distances are negligible, and you can easily talk to someone who’s 12 timezones away from you. As technology advances, more and more barriers have been broken, and soon, language, one of our biggest barriers, might not even be a barrier anymore.
Microsoft and Skype have just added their newest feature to the Skype program: a real time translation service. Let’s say, for example, you only speak English and the one you’re talking to only speaks Spanish. You video chat each other on Skype, and when you speak in English, Skype will immediately translate it to Spanish, accompanied by a synthetic voice speaking the translation. And when the other person responds back in Spanish, Skype will automatically translate it and speak to you in English. This not only breaks the language issue of communication, but also makes you genuinely feel like you’re talking to the person.
Source: Youtube, Skype
As of the moment, there are 10 languages available for this service, English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and their newest addition, Japanese. It’s available on both Skype and Microsoft Translator Live.
If you’re language isn’t listed, then have no fear! Skype offers a text translation of over 60 languages. Sure, you can’t use voice or video chat, but you can get your point across with the usual Private Message text chat. It works just as well.
This innovation isn’t just useful for social and business purposes–It’s also great for the scientific community. This technology allows more scientists from around the world to collaborate with each other with understanding our world and its laws and inventing new things, even if they don’t speak each other’s language. Increased efficiency and functionality of these translation services- especially live, allows these collaborations to be even more widely and readily available.
And this is the spirit of the International Space Station. Its defining feature is being able to allow scientists and other bright minds from all over the world to study space together to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and with this technology, it’s become much easier to do so.
Technology sure is one of humanity’s greatest tools. It is what has kept us all connected, as one big community- the human race. It has allowed people of different races, ethnicities, and nationalities to communicate with each other regardless of their current location, and now, regardless of the language we speak. And while it still isn’t 100% accurate, we’re getting there, soon.