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Microsoft kicks off Skype's Translator preview on Windows 8.1

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Tu madre es una tarantula. Entiendes? If you didn't catch that, Skype's got you covered. Microsoft just kicked off Skype's Translator preview, which, as the name suggests, can automatically translate speech in real time. While English and Spanish are the only supported spoken languages at the moment, the feature can also translate instant messaging chats in 45 languages. Microsoft first showed off Skype's Translator, which relies on machine learning to handle its language gymnastics, back in May. And it seems to have made quite a bit of progress since then -- at least, according to a tooth-achingly sweet video (see below) between high school students in the US and Mexico. The feature's only available on Windows 8.1 devices at the moment, and don't expect flawless functionality since it's just a preview. But it's a sign that even aging software can still make your Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy dreams come true.

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