Foreign Languages

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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One of the most challenging aspects of developing a truly global Internet is the difficulty inherent in programming for the many foreign languages of the world. Because the initial development of the Internet was centered mainly in western European countries that use the Latin alphabet, the majority of the text and coding used in Internet development was based in a coding standard that had little capacity to handle non-Latin characters. Recently, though, many operating systems and internet-based resources have switched to codes that can potentially handle the alphabet, syllabary, or character set of any language on Earth.

The ability to successfully, efficiently, and universally process foreign languages and non-Latin character sets has been a long-incubating dream of many developers and governments. It has led to the development of an international text encoding standard called Unicode. Unicode, though less than 15 years old, is now the basis for most major operating systems, including recent Windows OSs and Apple's OS X.

Computerized Translation of Foreign Languages

Another long-term goal in computer and foreign languages is the development of flawless machine translation software. Most professional-grade translation software products that are currently available use computer-assisted translation processes, in which the user must specify the correct option among many possible translations. Software programs with strong foundation of comprehensive glossaries can often provide enough accurate translation options to successfully aide users in translating even complex words or phrases.

Professional computer-assisted translation programs often include a number of technical glossaries to aide translation in specific areas of technology or business. They may also include a number of language packets, and multiple dictionaries in every available language. Many companies that produce translation programs are constantly incorporating new glossaries and content providers to supply users with the most accurate translations possible.


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