Language poses a unique problem for computers. Translating different languages goes far beyond a binary swap of one word for another; it requires a deeper understanding of both meaning and context. That’s why legitimate translation has, for the most part, eluded modern computers. Microsoft is hoping to change that with the public preview of its Skype Translator – a custom feature for the Windows 8 version of Skype that allows anyone to translate conversations in English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin, all in real-time. The app recognizes spoken words from the aforementioned languages and directly translates them into both audio and text. And because it happens in real-time, Skype Translator allows for the dynamics and flow of a real conversation to happen without losing anything in translation – a compelling proposition for those who know just how oppressive language barriers can be. If you’re a Windows user, look for the Skype Translator now, available for download in the Windows Store.