Skype Gets Live Captions and Subtitles Support, Translation Coming Soon

Yolanda Curtis
December 5, 2018

Both PowerPoint and Skype will support live captions and subtitles, Microsoft announced in a blog post marking the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Microsoft plans to launch the subtitle option in real-time in Skype.

"Simple settings allow you to turn them on for a single call or keep them turned on for all your calls".

In coming weeks, Microsoft will also introduce translations to Skype calls, with support for more than 20 languages and dialects. The captions and subtitles appear as people are talking. The live captions and subtitles are supported in Windows with Skype version 14, Android with Skype version 8, iOS, MacOS, and Linux.

The company says it has designed its captions to be "fast, continuous, and contextually updated" during the conversation.

Live captions and subtitles will be available in more than 12 different languages with onscreen display in more than 60 different languages. Users can toggle translations on, at which point they'll have subtitles in their selected language to read during the call. But the built-in translation skills for PowerPoint and Skype will also help those of us who need to communicate with people in different languages.

A similar feature already exists as an add-on called Presentation Translator although it's not quite as robust as what Microsoft is getting ready to bake directly into PowerPoint. Turn on the switch to Show subtitles for all voice and video calls.

In order to enable the feature in Skype, viewers must go into Skype's settings during a call and select the "more" button (it's a + sign) and then "turn subtitles on". To have it enabled by default on all future calls, that can be changed via Settings Calling Call subtitles.

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