Skype is expanding the availability of its real-time translation feature, integrating the tool with calls made to mobile phones and landlines. Previously, the translation feature, which began rolling out to users back in 2014, only worked for Skype-to-Skype calls.
Users will still need three things to access the tool, though: they’ll need to be signed up to the (free) Windows Insider Program; they’ll need the latest beta of the Skype app (Skype Preview) downloaded; and they’ll need some some paid Skype credits.
The translation will work just like it does with regular Skype calls. You bring up the dialer, toggle the switch marked “Translate,” and then select the languages. When the person on the other side picks up, they’ll be played a message telling them the call is being recorded and translated. The rest of the call will take place with short delays waiting for the conversation to be translated.
Skype Translator currently works with nine spoken languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian. As this automatic translation powered by deep learning systems, you should expect some errors, but it’s certainly better than not having the conversation at all.