Automatic translations can help when people need to communicate with each other without speaking the other's language properly. Clownfish is a third party software that integrates with the popular communication software Skype. The software works automatically once installed and connected to Skype (a prompt to allow access to Skype is displayed in Skype once Skype and Clownfish are running).
Clownfish supports five translation services and dozens of languages. Among the translation services are Google Translate, Yahoo Translate and Bing Translate.
All configuration changes are made with a right-click on the application's system tray icon and the selection of the setting directly in the context menu. That offers quick changes to the configuration but introduces a problem if more than one setting needs to be changed here.
Available for configuration are the translation services that are used for the translation, the from and to languages with options to set the from language to auto detect in some translation services, an option to enable the spell checker and an option to enable text to speech for incoming English messages.
Messages that are written in Skype are automatically translated according to the configuration settings. The translations are displayed in brackets next to the original message. The original message can be hidden in the options as well in case it should not be displayed in the Skype message window.
The translations are not perfect, but this is the case for all automated machine based language translations. Still, most of the time they provide a more or less clear meaning.
Clownfish for Skype is an interesting program, especially for Skype users who often need to chat with business partners, friends or colleagues who have another native language. For that it is unobtrusive and sufficient.
Clownfish is available for Windows operating systems onlyAdvertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.