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Translate Dot Net. (TMC Labs).

LogoMedia Corporation

385 Concord Avenue

Belmont, MA 02478

Phone: 617-489-4000; Fax: 617-489-3850

Web site: www.logomedia.net

Price: between $5 and $20 per month, depending on language subscriptions.

Whether it's e-mail, text chat or Web pages, the Internet has become a dominant communications medium. in the global economy, businesses need to be able to communicate with as many customers as possible, which means it's necessary to communicate in several languages. Until now, that meant paying for expensive translators or outsourcing to companies with other language skills.

LogoMedia has introduced a product called TranslateDotNet, a comprehensive language translation service that provides translation of 12 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), German, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Ukrainian and Polish. TranslateDotNet consists of four user interfaces: LogoTransDotNet, Translation-Mirror DotNet, TransItDotNet and FileTransDotNet, all of which require Internet access in order to access the translation server, We were given a 75-day trial subscription in order to test all four applications. All of the applications requite Internet access to the translation server (translation-farm.logomedia.net), which means you first need to set up a subscription. Once you have subscribed, all that is requited is a username and password to be set up within the applications, which then authenticate over your Internet connection with their server.

We started by testing FileTransDotNet (see Figure 1), which allows you to perform batch translation of files or folders, including HTML and text, simply by dragging and dropping files onto this application or opening them directly from FileTrans. Unfortunately, you cannot drag-and-drop Microsoft Office files or Acrobat files. You'd either have to convert them to HTML or text, or copy/paste the text into the LogoTransDotNet application (which we will explain later). In any event, we were able to simply drag a file or directory icon onto the FileTransDotNet window, and the translation was automatic.

The second application, called LogoTransDotNet, provides immediate translation of text placed into the top boxed area (see Figure 2). It is primarily used for rapid translation of small amounts of text that you type directly into the program, although it can also be used to translate small text files or dropped text.

The third application, called TransItDotNet, creates an instant translation as you type. When you work with instant messages, chats, e-mails and forms, simply type in your own language and have it translated into another language. First, you select the application window to which you want TransItDotNet to send translated text. You can do this by dragging and dropping a gray, circular icon from the TransItDotNet application onto the window or simply by clicking the gray icon once, at which time it selects the last window in the foreground. Also, we thought it was a neat feature that we could click on the "pin" icon, which would force the TransItDotNet application (see Figure 3) to stay on top of other windows, which prevents the application from being hidden behind your active window.

We did, however, have a minor complaint. After typing within TransIt, you had to hit "enter" to convert it, and then hit "enter" again to paste into the application. We found ourselves wishing this could be performed in one step, although we recognize that this may be a design feature that allows the user to look over the translation before it's pasted into the application.

The final application, Translation Mirror DotNet, is an application that allows you to view any window on your desktop in another language. You create a correspondence between Translation Mirror and the window to be translated, and Translation Mirror automatically translates in real time. We tested this feature using a Web browser, and it performed quite admirably. We should point our, though, that it obviously could not translate graphics containing embedded text. See Figures 4 and 5, which show the Internet Explorer browser displaying a Spanish Web page, and the Translation Mirror application displayed the English translation. Not only does it translate the text in the Web page, but also any text within any drop-down boxes, which is important if trying to navigate the site. Very cool!

As for usability, we noticed that the mouse scroll-wheel works within the Translation Mirror DotNet application; however, for some reason we had to click on any blank spot on the Web page first to set the focus before using the scroll-wheel. Also, we could click on hyperlinks or other clickable items within the Translation Mirror application, which was a nice touch, since we didn't have to toggle between this application and our Web browser.

Overall, we were pleased with the results, although we had difficulty getting the Hebrew translation to work. For some reason, the fonts wouldn't display. It worked fine one day and then stopped. We reinstalled on a separate PC, but the Hebrew language still would not function,

We should mention that many Internet users are fond of using the many available free translation Web sites, which are obviously competitive to this subscription-based product. However, LogoMedia claims they are constantly upgrading and improving their translation engine, creating updates to which subscribers have immediate access. In addition, we found the power and flexibility of the company's four applications much easier than using strictly Web-based translation sites. Also, many Web sites only offer three or four languages, whereas this product offers an impressive 12 languages. If you are looking for a product that offers extensive language translation capabilities, integrates seamlessly into any Windows application and is very easy to use, then this product just might be for you.

RATINGS (0-5)

Installation: 5

Documentation: 4.75

Features: 4.75

GUI: 5

Overall: A-

For information and subscriptions, visit www.TMCnet.com or call 203-852-6800.
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Publication:Customer Interaction Solutions
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:946
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