Versatile translation program | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Versatile translation program

Bring the Web's best translation services together in one simple interface.

Translate.net aggregates translation resources from all over the Internet and lets users access them with one interface. Although the program is potentially very useful, it has extra features that seem totally irrelevant.

The program's interface is basic and not entirely intuitive; it took us a moment to figure out where to enter the text that we wanted to translate. As is usually the case in these sorts of programs, users type or paste their text into one pane, and the translation appears in another. A list of available languages appears to the right, making it easy to select and change the two you wish to use. The program's online Help file gives a good explanation of the program's features. Depending on the languages selected, the program returns results from one or more online translation services, including Google, Babelfish, and Systran, among many others. This works fine, and in many cases allows users to compare translations between services. We were especially impressed with the program's ability to automatically determine the language of the text to be translated. What confused us is that the program also returns results from Wikipedia. When translating the phrase "Do you know where the dog is?" we got links to 15 Wikipedia articles, many of which had nothing to do with dogs. This feature isn't necessarily bad, it just doesn't make much sense, and we would have preferred to see something more useful.

Translate.net is free. It installs desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to all users.

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