Lernout & Hauspie – Power Translator Pro 7.0 review

tightly-integrated translation tool
Photo of Lernout & Hauspie – Power Translator Pro 7.0
£85 + VAT

The latest version of Lernout & Hauspie’s Power Translator Pro translates foreign letters, reports, e-mail and Web pages into English. Version 7.0 of the software supports six of the world’s most widely-used languages including Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Japanese and has significantly come down in price compared with previous versions.

Aimed at the corporate and small business user and suitable for use with Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT 4.0, the program now offers full integration with all Microsoft Office 2000 products. The user can translate documents directly within third-party applications including PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook 2000 or Corel WordPerfect 7/8/9. Support for these programs is automatically installed on the system.

When a new project is created, the user is presented with a screen that contains two windows. Both the upper and lower window holds a copy of the source text. As the project is translated, the text in the lower window is replaced by the translated text. Power Translator Pro only works with .MTP (Machine Translation Project) files and all Word files opened are copied/converted into .MTP’s. Files can also be saved in HTM, HTML, RFT, or plain text format and then imported.

The program has an International ProofReader, which can help identify awkward phrases, names, acronyms and jargon. Subject Dictionaries also allow the user to specify the content of their document, and search for words using particular subjects. These include Business/Finance, Computer/Internet, Medical/Health and Legal.

The RealSpeak Text-to-Speech technology allows users to listen to translation in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. There is also a conversation utility, which acts as an instant translation tool and is specifically targeted at the business traveller.

One of the main differences between version 6.43 (reviewed here) and 7.0 is the sophisticated Web Translator. This is a browser add-on for translating Web pages. The user maintains the site’s hotlinks, graphics and format but has the option to switch between the translated and the original pages relatively easily.

The multilingual Phrase Book is a database of commonly used phrases, which have been pre-translated into different languages. The translations take the form of typical situations and cover 36 languages including Esperanto and Ukrainian. Topics include accommodation, dining, conversation, travel and business.

The other powerful reference tool is the Word Lookup feature, which is a bilingual dictionary that scans for words in 40 different languages from Arabic to Vietnamese. Lernout and Hauspie claim it contains a total of 6 million words in its memory. This feature would suit those with an Intermediate level of language understanding.

There can be some discrepancy between common forms of expression and the translation program itself. Confusion can occur with colloquial phrases and slang terminology. To prevent inaccuracy, it is a good idea to stick to the basic principals of translation. Avoid idiomatic expressions, use proper grammar and punctuation and always use apostrophes for possessives and not for contradictions. Hard carriage returns are also interpreted as line breaks which imply the end of a sentence.

Company: Lernout & Hauspie

Contact: 0800 056 0539


Verdict
Power Translator Pro 7.0 is an affordable, accessible translation tool for business communication. It can be used as a phrasebook and dictionary and has been designed to help small businesses break down language barriers around the world. Ideally suited to those users who have a basic level of language understanding.