Microsoft Translator erodes language barrier for in-person conversations

For James Simmonds-Read, overcoming language barriers is essential. He works at The Children’s Society in London with migrants and refugees, mostly young men who are victims of human trafficking.

“They are all asylum seekers and a large number of them have issues around language,” he said. “Very frequently, we need to use translators.”

That has its own challenges, because it means the young men must disclose sensitive information to third-party interpreters.

Recently, The Children’s Society found a better solution. They started using the Microsoft Translator live feature, a new tool currently in preview that delivers live, in-person speech translation capabilities via Internet-connected smartphones, tablets and personal computers. The feature was introduced Tuesday at a Microsoft AI event in San Francisco.