How to join the Skype Translator Preview right now

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 15, 2014
Updated • Jan 22, 2017

Microsoft revealed in May 2014 that it is working on real-time translation for Skype. While machine translation is not a new concept, real-time translation of voice communication in this magnitude is.

Update: Skype Translator is no longer a beta. It is now an official part of the Skype software. Skype Translator supports audio translations for eight languages, and instant messaging translations for more than 50 different languages.

Translation services such as Google Translate or Bing Translator have been part of the Internet for many years. They can be used to translate text or web pages from one language into the other.

Users of Skype have access to similar tools such as Clownfish or Skype Chat Translator that allow them to translate chat messages they receive or sent.

Real-time voice translation is the next logical step and Microsoft just announced the limited launch of Skype Translator.

Skype Translator Preview integrates speech translation into Skype using automatic speech recognition, speech correction and translation.


The preview has the following limitations currently:

  1. It is only available for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking Skype users.
  2. Supported operating systems are Windows 8.1 or Windows Technical Preview.
  3. The preview starts at the end of the year.

How to register for the preview

skype translator preview

You need to register for access to the preview on this website. Information requested on the page include a valid email address, the devices that you use Skype on, and the languages that you are interested in.

Since the preview supports only English and Spanish, it is likely that you increase your chances of being chosen for it by selecting at least one of those languages.

Microsoft selects users on a first-come first-serve basis but uses the information selected during sign up as well in the process. It would not make much sense to select a user who does not speak English or Spanish for the preview as those are the two only languages currently supported.

It needs to be noted though that Skype Translator includes chat translation as well. This feature supports more than 40 different languages actually and will make third-party translation tools superfluous in the long run.

Here is a video that demonstrates how Skype Translator works in Skype.

As you can see from the video, a computer voice is being used for the translation so that it is not necessary to read what is being said.

It remains to be seen how good the translations really are. If we look at machine translation that is currently available, it should be clear that it won't be perfect all the time.

Still, if you have the option to use it or not communicate at all, it is easy to make the right choice.

Now You: Are you excited about Skype Translator or voice translation in general?

How to join the Skype Translator Preview right now
Article Name
How to join the Skype Translator Preview right now
Find out how to sign up for the Skype Translator Preview, a real-time translation feature that will launch for all Skype users in the future.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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