How do you say the end is nigh in Chi­nese?

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - Wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Is this the end for in­ter­preters? The launch of the Chi­nese ver­sion of Skype Trans­la­tor has trig­gered a de­bate on­line over the pros and cons, and what the fu­ture may hold for th­ese pro­fes­sion­als.

The soft­ware, now avail­able on desk­top and tablets us­ing Win­dows 8.1 and Win­dows 10, can pro­vide real-time, vo­cal trans­la­tion be­tween Man­darin and English.

Skype, ac­quired by Mi­crosoft in 2011, said in a news re­lease on April 10 that the soft­ware was “an ex­cit­ing mile­stone” and “the re­sult of decade-long re­search” by its tech­ni­cians in China and the US.

“The Chi­nese lan­guage has 10,000 fre­quently-used char­ac­ters with dif­fer­ent pro­nun­ci­a­tions and in­to­na­tions, which posed a great chal­lenge to the devel­op­ment of this pro­gram,” the news re­lease said.

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