Back in 2014, Skype introduced the live translation feature which translates your to another selected language so people who don’t speak the same language can still communicate. The service supports a number of widely spoken languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian and Portuguese (Brazilian). However, the team at Skype announced that they’ve added yet another language to list which is spoken by millions of people across the globe — Arabic.
Arabic is the official language of 22 countries. It’s the native language of more than 200 million people residing in a geographical region stretching from Southwest Asia to Northwest Africa. Natural Language Processing researchers within Microsoft’s Advanced Technology Laboratory have been leading this project to train Arabic speech models for Skype Translator and for the Microsoft Translator apps for Android and iOS for in person translations.
Although there are several dialects in Arabic, the company announced it supports Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) which is commonly used in Middle East and North African countries. This version of Arabic is also taught in schools and used in journalism as well.