A limited test of the free translation software Babylon 7 from _http://www.babylon.com
It is a toolbar and addon for the Firefox browser. It works like this; one installs, then for a word one wishes to look up, one holds the curser over the word and presses "shift + right click" simultaneously. As a result the word gets highlighted.
(In the following it is assumed that the page one is looking at is using English.)
After the highlighted word comes up, simultaneously a green Babylon dialog box pops up. In the upper half the whole paragraph or surrounding words of the word highlighted are included. Below the dictionary meaning of the highlighted word is explained in English using other English words.
In the middle there is a narrow greenish field where one can select between several languages, when I looked it was 26. Suppose one wishes to translate the whole text from English to French: then one selects French and presses translate and next the text that was in the upper field appears as "some kind of translation" in the lower field. One needs to be on-line for this to work.
After having installed the main software package one can enhance the application by downloading dictionaries that can work with it. On _http://www.babylon.com/display.php?id=5&tree=5&level=1 one can select between comprehensive dictionaries for 17 languages and they are for free.
One feature of the tool bar is that in the left side there is a "+" and to the right of it a small downward arrow. By clicking it, a drop down opens and one can change the language of the toolbar between English, Hebrew, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Italien, and Dutch
In the taskbar a small Babylon icon gets installed. By leftclicking the icon, a dialog box opens which explains how to use. By clicking 'Options' in this how-to dialog box, or by right clicking the Babylon icon in the taskbar, a menu opens which gives different options, including 'Dictionaries' that may allow one to install dictionaries from the web or from a CD.
Babylon does seem to slow down the machine a bit, and some popup is also there. So it works, but there has to be a need for what it offers, before installation is considered. The company has a FAQ with tips and information: _http://www.babylon.com/display.php?id=185&tree=6&level=4
Uninstall has caused problem for some people, since the toolbar did not go away, however if one follows the following procedure taken from the FAQ it should be easier:
How do I uninstall Babylon?
# 1. Right-click on the Babylon icon, at the bottom of your screen next to the computer's clock, select "Exit", and confirms your decision with a "Yes".
2. Go to "My Computer ->Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs", select 'Babylon' by clicking on it, and choose 'remove'.
3. Delete the "Babylon" folder from the directory that contains it.
For above problem see also: _http://support.mozilla.com/tiki-view_forum_thread.php?locale=fr&comments_parentId=139917&forumId=1 which has:
I want to remove Babylon search tool bar. Please, tell me what to do.
ven. 19 de sept., 2008 06:07 PST
Following is from there:
What is your internet browser? if is it mozilla firefox, once you made sure that it's gone from the "add/remove programs" go into firefox, click on "tools", and look for "add-ons." See if the BAbylon Toolbar is still in there, there should be an "uninstall" button under Babylon. Click on uninstall and follow the prompts.. the uninstall should complete itself once you relaunch firefox.
Machine translations of text are not that great, it is an advantage to know the differences in the grammatical structure to assist ones "decoding of the translated text". Machine translations between languages that are not closely related, as far as grammar is concerned, are probably better translated. Translation machines are probably better teaching aids than translators, since one can learn the meaning of word more effortlessly than if one had to write the words down and look them up in a heavy book.