Skype to Translate on the fly

Photo(Truman Lewis @ ConsumerAffairs) A Microsoft researcher demonstrates Skype's translation software at the Code conference

Microsoft says Skype will soon be able to translate voice calls in "near real-time," meaning that you could call someone in, say, Germany and carry on a relatively normal conversation with each person speaking in his or her native tongue.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demonstrated the system at the Code conference today. It uses technology developed by the company's Skype and Translator teams. 

"Ever since we started to speak, we wanted to cross the language boundary," Nadella said, promising a beta version later this year and a commercial product within the next few years.

Although the Redmond software giant’s real-time language translation tool was demonstrated a few years ago as a concept, it is finally scheduled to reach beta stage in an update of Skype some time later this year.