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Skype's real-time translation of spoken words is finally getting an official release after many months in preview form. When users on Windows update desktop Skype to the latest version, they will see a new translate button on the upper right of the conversation window. Click the gear to select a language for you and your friend and it will subtitle your conversation live, as well as read those subtitles aloud.
Only the originator of the call needs to be on Windows for the translation to work — but the person on the other end, if not on Windows, will only hear translated audio and not see the text, a Microsoft representative explained in an email to NBC News.
For now, Skype only speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese — but if you're just chatting in text, there are a total of 50 languages available.
Mobile and Mac users are out of luck for the present — try Google's free Translate app instead until Microsoft brings Skype Translator to your platform.