by Stephanie Viscasillas

Transclick Offers Web-Based Translation Applications

Aug 15, 20012 mins

More than 100 million people whose first language is not English will be going online every year for the next 10 years or longer. Do you know how to talk to them? Transclick does. The New York City-based ASP, a CIO-100 honoree, allows a unified messaging system, e-CRM unit, e-mail system, Web server or cross-border B2B supply chain to access real-time translation services. Using the service, you can type an instant message in English to your Japanese-speaking business partner, which she receives in Japanese. Then she responds to you in Japanese, and the response comes to you in English.

There are three quality choices, according to Robert Levin, founder and CEO of Transclick. The first is raw machine quality, which is similar to what you’d get on a translation website like BabelFish. The second level offers customized dictionaries specific to certain markets, providing a more accurate translation than the first option. The nouns are also context-specific, so you could use the word cool, and it would know the difference between something chilly and something interesting. The final level is integrating translation memory, which is 100 percent accurate. These are based on previous human translations that are stored in an Oracle database.

Transclick has an $820,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to study the future of speech-to-speech translation in mobile devices, which could be applied to voice mobil-commerce portals. Down the road that will allow someone speaking English to be understood in Spanish over Internet telephony or a cell phone. “It’s like when Spock is communicating with the Klingons in Star Trek,” Levin explains. “When he spoke English, they heard Klingon.”