What's that language? | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

What's that language?

Identify 400-plus languages with this unique freeware.

Likasoft calls Polyglot 3000 an automatic language recognizer, which is an apt description of this specialized tool. It's similar to automatic translators in that it analyzes the language of text entries, but instead of translating the text, it identifies and displays the language, including confidence in the match expressed as a percentage. It handles more than 470 languages.

Polyglot 3000 has a very simple interface and an equally simple operation. It has a text entry field for typing or pasting text to identify, or you can load Unicode or ANSI text files directly into the program. It has but three buttons: Recognize Language, Clear text, and Unicode font. It's very easy to use, though it has a Help file and Web site link for good measure. The tool downloads with several example languages; we selected the Basque file and clicked Recognize language. The program identified the language with recognition accuracy displayed as a percentage and recognition time in fractions of a second. It also listed similar languages. We browsed the Web for language snippets, but even languages like Malay and Irish Gaelic failed to trip up the program. It even correctly identified phonetic and non-standard spellings. While the program occasionally posted a low confidence in the recognition, it never misidentified a language. As to options, we could change the interface's language, color, and font, and select all languages, prominent languages, or just Cyrillic languages as a language set.

Who needs Polyglot 3000? Teachers, translators, editors, managers, academics, and crossword puzzle fans, to name just a few. This compact freeware provides a useful and, to our knowledge, unique service.

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