The Web's biggest and busiest free real-time translation service, AltaVista's Babel Fish performs about a million translations a day. The site converts English into most major European languages, but doesn't accept text blocks longer than 1,000 characters or Web pages with more than a measly 5K of text.
While 80 percent of Web content is in English, nearly 70 percent of PC users are non-English-speaking. Israel-based Babylon helps this majority surf. The company's free downloadable Windows dictionary will correctly pronounce an English word and then offer to translate it into one of 10 languages - including Chinese.
e-lingo (formerly WorldBlaze)
e-lingo does the usual URL and text-block translation tricks, but also sends translated email straight from its site.
FreeTranslation.com translates text documents of up to 13,000 words - about 20 pages of a word processing file.
InterTran is more a Web-based word-for-word (and phrase-for-phrase) translation dictionary than a full-blown translator, but it does work between 351 language pairs - from Brazilian Portuguese to Welsh and everything in between. What's more, InterTran doesn't just provide one translation - it offers the user multiple translations for each part of speech.
The mother of all Web translation apps, Systran powers the Babel Fish, GO Network, and Voila translators. After you enroll on Systran's own Systranet site, it translates entire word processing files (saved in RTF, plaintext, or HTML) without affecting their original formatting. The site lets you choose one of 20 specialized dictionaries - legal, for example, or automotive - to use in translating your text.
TransBot, still in beta, doesn't translate entire sentences, but rather targets individual words on a Web page. Select a URL, and the page is fed through the TransBot reader. The first letter of every word will appear as a hyperlink: Click the letter and a little box will appear with the translated word.
This shareware translates English words and phrases for the Palm and Windows CE platforms. Language modules vary in size from 1,800 to 19,000 entries. (Many languages are supported, including Slovak and Esperanto.)
South Africa-based Pink Software will translate text samples from English to Afrikaans or Zulu, and from Afrikaans, Tswana, or Swahili to English.
Voila isn't a translation site per se, but a multilanguage portal from France Telecom. Though it does pretty much everything AltaVista's Babel Fish can, its indexed European content makes Voila a good first stop before flying overseas.
Machine Translation R&D Worldwide
AT&T Labs www.research.att.com
Dragon Systems www.dragonsys.com
Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California www.isi.edu
Integrated Wave Technologies www.i-w-t.com
Laboratory for Applied Research in Computational Linguistics, Université de Montréal www-rali.iro.umontreal.ca/Accueil.en.html
Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University www.lti.cs.cmu.edu
Natural Language Laboratory, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University www.cs.sfu.ca/research/groups/NLL
Spoken Language Systems Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology www.sls.lcs.mit.edu/sls
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Laboratory of Computational Linguistics, Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences proling.iitp.ru/index_e.html
Lernout & Hauspie www.lhsl.com
Systran Software www.systransoft.com
Spoken Language Processing Group, Advanced Telecommunications Research www.itl.atr.co.jp
Universal Networking Language Center, United Nations University www.unl.ias.unu.edu
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