Translate.Net is a desktop-based translation tool that will translate any text from one language to another. It connects with multiple online translation engines and delivers multiple translations at once straight into your desktop.
Although a translation engine where you enter you text and have it magically translated into another language sounds like a fairy tale, the web is full of these services.
Of course these cannot provide the textual nuances that a human translator could, and the quality can vary widely from text to text and engine to engine, which is why it is a good idea to run a text through multiple translation engines and get multiple versions/attempts at deciphering the text.
Translate.Net, like the recently reviewed Lingoes, is a straightforward program that will simply run your text through several online translation services and give you a list of results.
Here are more notes on this program:
- The user interface: is simple and intuitive and fairly self explanatory.
- Languages supported: the list of “from” and “to” languages is extensive, with 25 languages supported in total, including every major language represented. The total number of translation directions is a whopping 1352.
- The language resources: what is cool is that Translate.Net will automatically identify out the available translation engines/resources that cover your language configuration and use them. As of this writing there were 17 language resources used, including Google dictionary, Google,translator Wikipedia, wiktionary, and SYSTRAN translator (used by Altavista Babel Fish). For a list of these go here.
- History of language pairs: once you perform a translation your from/to language pair used will be stored in the main interface, enabling you to quickly fire up that language combo the next time you need it. Quite useful.
- Global translator: you can invoke Translate.Net from any app by pressing system hotkeys (Ctrl+C+C and’or Ctrl+Ins+Ins). This will maximize Translate.Net by default, but it will also automatically translate your selected text if you have “translate when activated by hotkey” checked in the settings.
- Subjects: you can specify the subject for your desired translation and Translate.Net will use the best translation engine for that subject (e.g. medical, banking, chemistry, bible, etc.) I haven’t played around much with this personally as I have not had to get so specific.
- Profiles: you can create custom translation profiles. For example you might want only engines x, y, and z to be used for translation to and from the language you choose, or you might select the translation engine by subject if it offers this and bring together the desired collection of these engines in a certain profile that you save for latter use.
- Memory use: 17 megs, which is on the high side for this type of program, I think, especially considering Lingoes takes up half a much memory. On the other hand, unless you are using it constantly there’s no need whatsoever to keep it always running in memory.
The verdict: a very nice program that does a spectacular job. Although Lingoes has some things that might make it more attractive to some people than this one (more functions such as universal spellcheck, does not require .NET framework), Translate.Net is more visually appealing and user friendly. This program is just an inviting app in terms of design and intuitiveness and is great at what it does. If you would like a free translation resource that will connect with multiple online translation engines and give you consolidated results in a single screen (without you having to go online and hunt for these youself) I definitely recommend this one.
Version Tested: 0.1.3036.9031
Compatibility: Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista. Requires .NET 2.0 Framework for XP. Online connection required.
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 682K).