IBM’s Translation Server Coming Soon
- By Scott Bekker
Those familiar with Star Trek know that different races
often used a Universal Translator to communicate across languages. Now IBM Corp.
has come out with their own version, called
the WebSphere Translation Server.
Due out in March, the server allows global enterprises to
translate Web pages, chat and email to be translated in real time, from 200 to
500 words per second, depending on the processor and system. It translates both
ways between English and French, German, Spanish and Italian, but is a one-way
street for several Asian languages -- English to Japanese, Korean, and both
simplified and traditional Chinese.
The server can also be individually 'tuned' for local slang
or domain-specific phrases or terms.
The translation server has the potential to significantly
speed up content management and delivery for both Internet and Intranet sites,
since Web pages wouldn't need to be rewritten in several languages. The cost of
professional translators could also be substantially reduced.
One of the first large customers for the translation server
is Deutsche Bank. Marco Stein, of
Deutsche Bank, says the software does more than just change the text. "The
ability to support bi-directional translation for a wide range of languages was
an important consideration for us. We also needed a system which actually
understood the grammars of the various languages, much more than just a translation of individual words."
translation market is small right now, but analyst group IDC expects it to grow substantially, to $378
million by 2003.
Translation Server runs on a number of operating systems, including NT, Solaris
and AIX. Being an enterprise technology, it comes with an enterprise price tag
of $10,000 per language pair (i.e.
English and German), per processor. - Keith
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.