Personal Translator Professional 18, the translation software from Linguatec, comes in three business versions, Professional, Net and Intranet. The Intranet versions are available only as single language pairs for use on a company network by up to 25 employees. The Net version is for up to five employees using seven language pairs. Because of its multi-language capability and its affordability, we chose to review the Professional version of Personal Translator 18, designed for individual desktop use and featuring the same seven languages used by the Net version.
Aside from being an inexpensive, multi-language-capable solution, Personal Translator Professional 18 is different from other translation applications in several ways. One of the most important is security. While most of the language applications we review on this site operate through an online translation module, Personal Translator Professional 18 is desktop based. The translation module runs from your computer. You do not need to be connected to the internet to translate your documents, and your information does not leave your desktop during the translation process. This feature short circuits any potential security risk and enables your translation to be a little faster. Another feature is a set of dictionaries with over 4 million entries and sample context sentences that allow words with several possible meanings to be translated with a higher degree of precision and accuracy.
Other convenient, but more common, features include automatic correction of spelling mistakes in the original to help increase translation accuracy, a translation memory function that allows previously translated sentences to be stored and retrieved automatically for faster translations and automatic language recognition. A subject-area dictionary also helps you focus on areas like Art and Culture, Economy, Humanities and Social Sciences, Leisure and Sports, Medicine and Bio Sciences, Natural Sciences and Technology, Society and Social Issues, and Style. These context-type features all make translations faster and more accurate.
In addition, this translation program has a Speech-to-Text module that allows you to learn the sounds of tricky words or phrases. You highlight the text you’d like spoken and a voice will pronounce words in any of the seven languages the program offers. And, unlike other applications with Speech-to-Text capability, Personal Translator Professional 18 allows you to record an entire speech and use it for practice or presentations.
While Linguatec supports 13 languages in total, the Personal Translator Professional 18 is a seven-language package. With English as its base, it translates to and from German, French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese. It also translates from German to French and back again. This language selection makes translating documents between European and Chinese partners far less expensive than buying language pairs. In addition, so that your correspondence has just the right tone, Personal Translator Professional 18 allows you to translate from and to either British or American English.
Supported file formats for this business translation application include all those frequently exchanged in the business environment, like PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, XML, MSG and HTML files. Translating and saving foreign-language copies of documents in the Microsoft Suite is also easy. And on the web, you can grab the URL of an article you want to share with overseas colleagues and paste it into your application to have it translated to the language of your choice. From there, you can save it, print it and share it with others. Personal Translator Professional 18 does not offer a specific application for the Macintosh operating system.
During our tests of the Personal Translator Professional 18, the speed and quality of the translation was strikingly good. In addition, the software was easy to install and the interface was clean and contemporary looking. The website offers helpful user forums, FAQs, translation samples and speech samples. Email support is available but phone and live chat support are not.
Personal Translator Professional 18 from Linguatec is a secure, well-designed and impressive application. From integration with the Microsoft Suite to translating websites and recording spoken language for later use, this is a feature-rich language program. For companies with offices in multiple European countries or who sometimes do business with Chinese-speaking associates, this is an economical but high-quality translation-software offering.