We're a long way from when computers can perform translations among languages that capture every nuance. But Desktop Translator from Transparent Language performs excellently in conveying the gist of documents back and forth among Spanish (Mexican and Castilian), French, German, Italian, Portuguese and English (British and American).
The $100 Windows 95/98 program is far more sophisticated than products that rely on word-replacement translations. It uses a set of algorithms called Transcend RT to parse grammar, analyze vocabulary and follow diction patterns to convey meanings of text.
Better still, the software includes the Dragon Systems human speech-recognition program that allows users to dictate notes and e-mail in English and have it transcribed into other languages.
Another asset is that the software will read your translated text back to you in any of the supported languages, making it an excellent tool for learning foreign phrases.
Also included is translation of Web pages that are called up in your browser with the Transparent Language software running in the background. Here the advantage is strongest for non-English speakers, who can quickly display the 80 percent of all Web pages that are in English in any of the supported languages instead.
Desktop Translator requires a 200 MHz Pentium processor or better and 80 megabytes of memory. Information: 800-752-1767 or www.transparent.com.
In search of privacy
Has your privacy ever been invaded online?
Thanks to the proliferation of computer databases, more information about you is floating around than at any other time in history. We'd like to hear your stories and opinions--good or bad--about privacy in the Information Age.
For example, have you ever traded personal information for a free PC, e-mail account or access to a Web site? Have you used an online database to track down a relative or check out a paramour--or been the target of such a search? Have you been bombarded with unwanted mail after leaving your address on a Web site?
If you have a story you'd like to share, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't worry: we won't send you any junk mail.
Pub Date: 09/20/99