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December 14, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:52pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp has gone to Paris, France-based machine translation pioneer Systran SA for what it says is the first internet translation capability, which it’s added to its Alta Vista search engine. Around 70% of the web is in English, and DEC says its new technology will give non-English speakers access to those pages for the first time, as well as offering translation the other way. The languages covered are Spanish, French, German, Portugese and Italian. DEC says the technology offers near translation in real-time, using Systran’s multi-lingual dictionaries, which hold 2.5 million terms and a wide range of vocabulary and professional specialties. The curious can try it out for themselves on DEC worked with Systran to port the software over the the 64-bit Alphaserver 8400s that host its search service. Systran, which has a La Jolla, California-based subsidiary, was founded in 1968 to commercialize machine translation work begun by linguist researcher Peter Toma at the California Institute of Technology in the late 1950s. Xerox Corp began using the technology in the late 1970s, and still uses it today. Systran began porting the technology to the C programming language in 1992, and launched its first standalone Windows version for the PC in 1995. It has a contract with Seiko Instruments Inc to provide linguistic data and software for Seiko’s handheld translation products. á

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