IBM has announced the availability of its ViaVoice Translator – consumer machine translation software that enables language translation on handheld computers.
Built on technology from IBM’s WebSphere Translation Server, the ViaVoice Translator allows users to enter text in one language and have it returned in another either as text or read out as speech. It runs on selected Compaq iPAQ PocketPC handheld computers.
The software provides dynamic, two-way translation from English to French, Italian, German and Spanish.
Unlike phrase or dictionary translation, which are limited to specific words or sentences, the ViaVoice Translator allows users to dynamically translate longer documents. Documents are also translated in context – an increasingly important function as more and more handhelds are used to download news and work-related e-mails.
The software also offers 50 pre-loaded ‘starter sentences’ such as ‘Where is the train station?’ or ‘I would like to exchange money.’ Text can be active-synched from the desktop, from a soft keyboard or from a handwriting recogniser directly into the iPAQ.