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You know the problem? You have just received a mail from, perchance, a potential customer but you cannot understand what it says. Alternatively, you need to send a mail to a colleague abroad but you only speak (and type) English. Until recently your options for translating text would probably have comprised ‘cut and paste’ and going to one of the Web’s translation sites. However, there are alternatives that offer much higher translation quality but until recently these have been complex and expensive to utilise. Translution Limited might be set to change things.
Translution was founded in 2002 in the United Kingdom specifically to create an automatic language translation offering, operating as an ASP service. The company has built the service from the ground up and utilises components that it considers to be amongst the most effective available from the computer assisted translation (CAT) market.
In this respect the service employs a flexible architecture that allows Translution to make use of almost any machine translation technology and application available. To this end it now has links with both Systran, a provider of rules-based machine translation technology, and Language Weaver with its statistical machine translation software. Crucially, Translution’s offering can make use of whatever the best components might be as language translation software continues to evolve.
The service supplied allows a user to employ a single click to create a translation of an email message into any of the supported languages (currently English, German, French, Italian and Spanish). The mail can be translated into different languages for each recipient on the distribution list if so required. The translated message is then packaged with the original and sent on. Where a message may undergo modification and serial transformations, the translation is effected on the original document thereby avoiding some of the issues associated with multiple translations and the associated loss of quality.
It should be noted that Translution’s service also extends to cover not just email but Microsoft Word documents and Web pages. Translution’s target is to provide a first pass human-quality translation service within two years. Within the next twelve months it is expected that a number of other languages will be covered including Chinese and Arabic.
Translution’s offerings come in three packages. The first, ‘Translution Light’, is a service which provides free email translation for users requiring ‘occasional’ use. ‘Translution Pro’ (priced at £59.95 per year inc VAT) seeks to address users with a ‘regular’ need for such translation services. It delivers unlimited automatic email, attachment, document and web page translation. ‘Translution Corporate’, available as a beta product in Q1 2006, is a highly configurable system designed for large organisations and includes the ability to employ multiple, hierarchical dictionaries to address the needs of specialised users.
There is no doubt that the demand for automatic language translation services will continue to rise at a very rapid rate, especially as the percentage of non-native English language users on the Internet is expected to hit 85 percent by 2008. Translution utilises the ASP model to reduce the management burden for potential users and to ensure that its customers will always be using the best available translation service. As the software develops, Translution plugs it in and the latest version is available immediately. Translution is certain to attract the interest of both individuals and organisations.