e pluribus unum ?

 Babel

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Translation software is at last good enough to help companies do business in other languages

By PETER LOFTUS * Special writer for Down Jones Newswires in Philadelphia
October 22, 2007; Page R5
“Thanks to the Internet, companies can leap over most geographical barriers to conduct business globally. But language barriers remain a tough hurdle.
“Increasingly, though, translation software is making it easier to do business in other languages. While computer translation isn’t perfect — human input is still needed to ensure complete accuracy — the latest programs are faster and more accurate than earlier generations of translation tools.

* * *

Ford Motor Co. uses translation software from Systran SA of France, along with some human input, to convert vehicle-assembly instructions written in English into four languages: Spanish, German, Portuguese and Dutch. It also uses software from Applications Technology Inc., of McLean, Va., for translations from English to Turkish. Nestor Rychtyckyj, a Ford technical specialist in artificial intelligence, says that while machine translation still isn’t 100% accurate, it has improved over the years and is good enough to convey the substance of instructions to foreign workers. …”

(full article)

Source: Wall Street Journal online

See also: Aplana

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