IBM Corp. has released software that translates Web pages, office e-mail and online chat into Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
Called Websphere Translation Server, the system works with Microsoft, Apache and Netscape servers, and it can translate up to 500 words a second. Speeds may vary based on processor speed and system configuration.
The system takes traditional “machine translation” — developed by the U.S. government for Cold War purposes during the 1950s — and applies it for Web and e-mail uses. Machine translation entails a rules-based application that interprets language systematically.
Brian Garr, program manager for IBM's Voice Systems division, said that slight syntactical errors may occur in the translations, “but the viewer is going to get the basic idea of what the site is all about.”