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Microsoft Translator now lets you carry on conversations in seven languages

Everybody else is talking about some movie with wars in the stars, or something like that, but I think we should talk Star Trek for a minute. Remember the universal translator? When Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Bones and a handful of redshirts headed down to a planet, they could be assured that just about everyone they ran into spoke colloquial American English. Well, part of that was just that you had to do that to make the plot work, but there were a few situations where the plot made it necessary to use a computer to translate. Well, Microsoft Translator is getting pretty darned good at letting you do voice conversations with others who don’t speak your native tongue.

The latest version lets you and another individual engage in a conversation as long as you’re speaking Mandarin Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. There’s also a very cool feature that makes wearing an Apple Watch even more of a necessity. Here’s what Microsoft has to say about how this works:

We worked on making the feature work well if you have just your phone with the app installed. However, it shines when you have two smart devices: your phone and your watch. It allows you to have a more comfortable and fluid translated conversation. Instead of two people having to bend over your phone, passing it back and forth, being far from the microphone (and picking up background noise), or being at an uncomfortably close distance with each other, you can now face each other more naturally and at a more comfortable distance, while talking to each other in your own language. You can now fully benefit from the advantage of having a smart phone and watch combo. We haven’t gotten to a babelfish experience yet, and we’ll keep working towards providing better and a more natural translation experience in the future.

The best part of Microsoft Translator? It’s free. 

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!