Skype Translator

Situation

Skype Translator, an application developed by Microsoft, enables speech translation functionality by allowing speakers of two different languages to talk to each other, in real time over the Skype network. Skype Translator relies on deep neural networks and Microsoft Translator’s Statistical Machine Translation (SMT).

Microsoft needed linguists and native speakers to provide their expertise throughout the entire life-cycle of Skype Translator development.

Solution

Appen is proud to have been part of this exciting project from its inception. With an onsite and offsite team of linguists and translators working on the project, Appen’s role has been multifold. In addition to conducting speech data collection in several languages to help build Microsoft’s speech-to-speech corpus for Skype Translator, Appen has been providing regular testing, identification of bugs in the ASR (acoustic speech recognition) and MT engines, as well as continuous linguistic support for bug fixes.

Thanks to Appen’s consultants working remotely all over the world, Skype Translator’s connectivity and usability was tested in multiple countries, in multiple languages and by multiple users.

Additionally Appen’s consultants were selected to showcase Skype Translator by participating in internal, customer and Press Demos with journalists from several countries, aiding them with testing Skype Translator first-hand and ensuring they had the best possible first experience with the product.

Benefits

With the support of Appen’s expertise, understanding, and commitment to Skype Translator and its mission, client was able to execute and move quickly through the product development cycle, testing, and launch. The continuous access to experienced linguists, language experts, and project managers is a model that Appen has been providing for over 15 years to the Microsoft Research Machine Translation Group. Appen has been supporting all 50 languages available on Microsoft Translator from their onset.

Appen is thrilled to continue providing its support for Skype Translator, helping to enable its capabilities and expand its language coverage.

Skype Translator is currently available for translations to and from six spoken languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, French, and German, in addition to Microsoft Translator’s 50 instant messaging languages.