Skype Translator, which adds live audio and text translation to your video calls, has just added support for French and German speakers.
Dedicated audio translation is now available in six languages: English, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. By our calculations, that caters for a sizeable amount (1.82 billion) of the world's native speakers. If we were to include people who speak any of the six as a second language that figure would rise considerably.
It's curious to see Microsoft adding support for German later than other languages: one of its first public demos of the software was conducted in Deutsch. Then again, that demo didn't exactly go swimmingly, so it's possible that the past twelve months have been spent ironing out kinks from the program's German suite.
Although the on-the-fly translation app can only interpret six languages when spoken, support for instant messaging exists for over 30 different languages. Text translation could be a great method for helping those learning a language to bridge gaps in their understanding.
It's not a complete product, and nor is the software perfect - a quick peek at any hands-on demo quickly reveals its limitations. For the moment, Skype Translate remains in beta whilst it's being fine-tuned. If you're feeling brave and want to give it a whirl all you need is a Windows 8 or above PC and to head over to the Windows Store, where the Skype Translator preview is available as a free download.