Learning a language with Skype

One of the great things about Skype is how it allows you to communicate across global boundaries with the greatest of ease. Whether your friend is around the corner or around the world, they’re always just a Skype call away.

But not all boundaries are geographical in nature. Sometimes, if you want to talk to other people, you need to cross a language barrier as well. If you’re learning a new language, there are a few ways that Skype can help.

Get a head start with Skype Translator

Some might call it a head start, some might call it a cheat, but you might not have to learn your new language at all with the latest feature on Windows – Skype Translator.

With Skype Translator you can cross language barriers as easily as Skype calls have always crossed geographical ones. You can use it to send instant messages and even make calls to contacts who speak another language, and we’ll do the translation for you “automagically”.

Learn how to use Skype Translator with this short video:

Find someone to practice with on Skype calls and instant messages

Skype Translator is an amazing feature, but it’s probably not going to help you if you’re planning to travel to a foreign country and need to speak the language. No amount of technology can save you in that moment when someone is looking at you, expecting an answer to their question which you kind-of, sort-of understood… ish.

The only thing that helps defeat those nerves is practice, and you can definitely use Skype for that. All you need is a friend who speaks the language you’re learning to practice with in Skype instant messages and calls (it’s even better if they’re trying to learn your language, too).

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The Skype Community is a great place to start looking for a language-exchange buddy. It’s home to over 3,000,000 Skype users from around the world, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a native speaker to learn from.

Use Skype in the language you’re learning

If your native language and the language you’re learning share a common root, you can probably guess the meaning of some words just by reading them. If that’s the case, and you’re feeling brave, you might learn a few new words by setting the Skype interface to the language you’re studying.

To change your Skype language, open Tools on the menu bar, and select your desired language from the Change Language list.

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Have you tried Skype Translator yet? Is there a language you’d like to see added to it? We’d love to hear from you in the Skype Community.