Skype is one of those technologies that appear in the right place and time to take several trends and combine them into something new and useful. Millions of people around the world use Skype every day to stay in touch. STranslator is a free app that expands Skype's global reach by automatically translating Skype chat messages back and forth between Contacts who speak and write in a different language.
STranslator displays both the original message and the translated version in the message thread. It automatically recognizes chat participants' language based on their Skype account info. Recent updates include support for Microsoft's Bing translation service and automatic updates.
Though STranslator is a separate program, it needs to have Skype running to open. We started by logging in to our main Skype account. Next we started STranslator and authorized it to run in Skype. STranslator's system tray icon brings up the Pause and Active buttons that turn the translator on and off as well as an SMS option and an About menu accessing the program's Facebook, Twitter, and Web pages as well as updates. The Web site offers an excellent video tutorial that describes how to use ST. It only takes a few minutes, but most of what you need to know you'll learn early in the video.
To test STranslator, we logged in to separate Skype accounts on different PCs. On one, we changed our native language in both our Skype profile and also on the Tools menu. This seems to be important because of STranslator's language detection feature. We started a conversation, and then activated STranslator. The program automatically and instantaneously translated our chat and displayed the translated version with a national flag icon below the original message in both Skype accounts (even the one without STranslator). The program handles a wide range of alphabets and character sets, including Chinese and Russian characters.
STranslator is one of the most useful Skype add-ons we've seen. Skype helps bring the world together, and STranslator makes the job easier.