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May 29, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:00pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV has swooped yet again, picking up Munich based foreign language translator GMS Gesellschaftfuer Multilinguale System GmbH for $14.7m in cash and shares. Based in Ieper, Belgium, Nasdaq quoted Lernout & Hauspie is the leading player in the small but growing world of speech recognition technology. The newly acquired subsidiary, the sixth to be bought in as many months, will become part of L&H’s master plan to launch an automatic, multi-lingual translation service for use on the internet. When combined with a search engine, the proposed service will convert, for example, a German-language web-search into English and then translate the results of the English search back into German for the user. The acquisition of GMS was made primarily to allow L&H access to a product called T1, a machine translation platform derived from a predecessor called Metal. What makes T1 so desirable is that GMS re-wrote it in C++ to run on Windows NT and Windows 95, making it more suitable for internet and intranet applications. GMS also brings with it 55 machine language translation engineers and linguists, leading to the second reason for the deal, which is that L&H is in a tearing hurry to bring its new product to market. The company is still talking about launching a pilot of its internet- intranet translation service by the end of this year. L&H is also planning a second public offering of its stock, this time on the Brussels-based Easdaq exchange for growth and technology stocks.

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