Skype Live Translator adds Arabic support

Skype Translator, the nifty (to understate things) tool for translating spoken conversations in real time, has just added support for Arabic. With the support, Skype Translator can be used to translate to and from Modern Standard Arabic, the version of Arabic used by journalists and others throughout Arabic-speaking countries. This brings Skype Translator up to eight supported (spoken) languages.

Skype Translator was released in December 2014, and though it was rough at the start, the technology has grown by leaps and bounds and is, to be frank, incredibly exciting. With it, two individuals who do not speak each others' language are able to hold a conversation in real time, with Skype translating each person's words into the other person's language.

While not perfect, the language translation is often of a very high quality, and it has proven immensely useful in a variety of situations — kids who do not speak the language of a grandparent living in a different country can use it, for example, as can small businesses unable to afford dedicated translators and non-profits looking to expand their reach.

Arabic is spoken by people all over the world, and is the official language of 22 countries. As such, Microsoft says adding support for the language was "especially important" to the company, "because there is such a diverse Arabic speaking population all over the world." With this addition, Skype Translator now supports eight languages, including Spanish, English, French, Chinese, Italian, German, and Portuguese.

Those using Skype on Windows can find the Translator option under the 'globe' icon; simply toggle it on in the drop-down menu and then select the two languages that will be spoken. It isn't clear which language Skype will add next.