Google Launches Language Translation API - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Google Launches Language Translation API

The API covers 13 languages and can be used for translating blocks of text in Web pages into multiple languages.

Google has introduced tools for translating blocks of text in Web pages into multiple languages.

The language application programming interface can also identify a particular language before translation. The API makes use of the Web 2.0 technology Ajax and covers 13 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The API also supports 29 translation pairs.

The new API was developed by Google's Ajax Search and Feeds team, which offers a detailed explanation on how the technology can be incorporated in Web applications.

With the API, developers can translate and detect blocks of text in a blog or other Web page using Javascript, Google said. The language tool is designed to provide translation quickly when a more thorough offline translation is unavailable. Google plans to add more capabilities to the new API in the future.

Google is offering a developer's guide for use of the API, as well as examples of translation projects.

Computerized translation is an emerging tool in global business. In general, however, translations tend to be either good when handled by humans or fast when conducted by machines. The two rarely come together in a single software product.

One example of a software company trying to improve the process of getting business materials translated is Idiom Technologies. The company last September introduced a new version of its WorldServer software that includes open APIs, so companies can integrate Idiom's database for translated terms and phrases into other applications.

Google and security vendor Symantec were among the Idiom customers that pushed Idiom to create the APIs.

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