L&H's Power Translator Pro software transforms computer and Internet user into real polyglot

Almere 20 January 2000Machine translation is definitely outgrowing its infancy. The time when automatic document translation used to provoke laughter because of the often funny and even ridiculous outcomes seems to be over for good and all. An outstanding generation of new software is breaking through in which Power Translator Pro, developed by the leading speech and language expert, Lernout & Hauspie, is the latest hit in advanced translation technology. We were offered the opportunity to test the Power Translator Pro programme and became impressed with its excellent results.


The pioneering L&H software enables anyone to translate English business as well as personal documents to and from five frequently spoken languages which are French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. The intelligent linguistic processing technology takes into account the context of the document by dealing with the contents sentence-by-sentence instead of word-by-word. This amounts to more accurate translations, respecting the grammar of the foreign language. The interactive translation tool invites the user to introduce corrections or improvements to the suggested solutions.

Self-evidently, no automatic translation can replace the excellent qualities of a professional interpreter. Therefore, Power Translator Pro has in store a set of tools, allowing the user to fine-tune inevitably occurring inaccuracies. The inherent quality of the software's performance depends on the user's ability and insight to appropriately apply the intelligent tools. It should be admitted in all honesty that a sound basic knowledge of the included languages really forms a tremendous help to obtain fast and effective document translations. Although Power Translator Pro may be no Wizard of Oz, this package proves to be an extremely clever and time-saving tool for clever users.

The programme editor splits the computer window screen to simultaneously compare the original with the translated text. Following the user's personal preferences, document translation is being performed entirely, sentence by sentence, or selectively. It is also possible to integrate the software with the user's favourite word processor, Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, in order to offer seamless translations which preserve formatting. Compatibility with e-mail programmes, such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, and Eudora has been provided as well.

In addition, the Web Translator feature offers a user-friendly toolbar allowing to browse international Internet Web sites with both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer and have them translated in real time. Another helpful tool constitutes the Conversation Translation which enables users to easily communicate with each other in a different language during business meetings. The customisable dictionary, which is enhanced with over thirty subject-specific dictionaries, assists the user in correctly translating almost any term.

The Power Translator Pro software is designed to run with Windows 95/98 or Windows NT. The minimum system requirements include a Pentium 90 PC, 16 Mb of RAM, 28 to 35 Mb of hard disk space for one language pair and 82 Mb for all five language pairs, a CD-ROM drive and a mouse. Make sure to check the box Use Literal Translation for this Word to mark with an asterisk any word you want to keep such as it appears in the target text. Otherwise, you might end up with a cryptic instruction like the following: for more details about the Power Translator Pro tool, besuchen Sie die Lernout & Hauspie"Spinnweb Stelle".

Leslie Versweyveld

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