Make Yourself Understood – Software Review – Evaluation
L&H Power Translator Pro 7.0
* Configuration: Win 95/98/NT 4.0/2000, 48MB RAM, 130MB of hard disk space plus 15MB to 100MB per language pair * List Price: $150 * Manufacturer: Lernout & Hauspie, 800-521-4539, www.lhs.com
L&H VOWER TRANSLATOR PRO 7.0 DOES A superb job of translating Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, and Japanese to and from English. In fact, it offers so many ways to translate, you may find yourself wondering why the company couldn’t just settle on one method.
For example, Microsoft Office and Corel WordPerfect users will find a Translate option on the suites’ menu bars. You just select the direction, such as English into German, and can then translate words, sentences, or entire documents.
You can also run the Power Translator Pro application and either type or import text. There’s a conversation translator to handle short sentences quickly, and a supplied phrase book for more than 41 languages. You also get an optical character recognition (OCR) option and a Web Translator utility for Web pages and links.
Each component is easy to use, but there are some quirks. For example, the Web Translator doesn’t have a history, so you must pick the direction for every new translation. We’d also have liked a means to automatically translate any new page opened. And the Microsoft/Corel translator could benefit from access to the suites’ grammar checkers.
As for accuracy, Power Translator Pro seems both remarkable and awkward. In other words, this isn’t Star Trek’s universal translator. It’s easy to get a cheap laugh by, say, translating a common idiom into Japanese and then back into English.
But while you’d never want to depend on the software for high-stakes business, or even minor legal documents, it does let you communicate effectively with colleagues overseas. If you and your correspondents are reasonably precise and specific in your language, you’ll enjoy an excellent reading of the gist and tone of any document in a matter of minutes.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Freedom Technology Media Group
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group