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Microsoft Teams can now make you a foreign language expert without even trying

Microsoft Teams live transcript
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Getting to grips with international contacts on a Microsoft Teams call should soon be much easier due to a new update.

The video conferencing platform has confirmed that users are now able to activate live translated captions in a range of languages.

When starting and setting up a call, Microsoft Teams users will be able to select live captions in the language of their choice, helping them gain better understanding with other participants.

Microsoft Teams live captions

First announced in August 2022, Microsoft Teams hopes that the update will allow for more engagement on calls amongst teams or colleagues in different countries. 

"This will help users fully participate in meetings where the spoken language may not be their most comfortable language to use," the company noted.

In its entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the company notes that the change is thanks to the help of Microsoft Cognitive Service Speech Translation Capabilities. Part of the company's Azure cloud platform, Microsoft says its tools offer powerful and fast translation services in real-time.

The tool is listed as rolling out now to Microsoft Teams desktop users across the globe.

The news is the latest in a series of upgrades for Microsoft Teams as the company looks to make the platform more useful for users around the globe.

This includes the recent announcements on so-called "intelligent translation" for Microsoft Teams Mobile users, meaning mobile users will be able to quickly translate messages in a foreign language, making sure there's never any delay or errors.

Another move early in 2022 meant Microsoft Teams also gained access to a large network of professional interpreters who dial into meetings on request.  Once a session has begun, Microsoft Teams users can switch between the original audio feed and the interpreter’s translation via a drop-down menu.

And in what may be a relief to many, users will now be able to track down full chat conversation threads after clicking on a search message results.

The update means that when users search for a chat message in Teams and click on a message result, they are taken to a view that contains the full thread that features the desired message, rather than just a single line of text as had been the case.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.