Babylon Ltd. was established in 1997 and is the developer of the translation software with the same name. The company has headquarters in Israel and a subsidiary in Germany (Munich). It has about 80 employees worldwide. Major shareholders of Babylon Ltd. are Reed Elsevier (LSE: REL, NYSE: RUK), Formula Vision Technologies, a subsidiary of Formula Systems (NASDAQ: FORTY), The Monitin Group (Eliezer Fishman) and company founder Amnon Ovadia. (Retrieved from NationMaster Encyclopedia, 2003-5, http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Babylon-(program).
What should ESL Teachers Know about Babylon Software?
1. Babylon software is ideal for those who need a quick translation of the words they do not understand while reading.
2. You right-click on the word that you do not understand and the supported language of your choice shows up.
3. Babylon does not translate full sentences. It translates only words and phrases. This feature is very useful for ESL learners - there is no temptation to jump to their native language text and give up reading in English.
4. Babylon translates only words from English to a learner's native language but not vice versa.
5. Babylon software is ideal for learners of English as a second or foreign language for reading purposes.
6. Babylon software can be used by ESL/EFL students both at home and in the English language lab at school.
7. Many ESL teachers recommended Babylon software to English learners.
Babylon is a point-and-click translation and information source utility program. When a user clicks on text with the right mouse button or combination of the right mouse and another key, the Babylon window appears with a translation and description of the clicked word. It is basically used as a tool for translation and currency conversion and for obtaining contextual information.
Babylon has a patented OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology and a single-click activation that works in any Windows program, such as Word, Outlook, Excel, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader (PDF documents). When activated, Babylon opens a small popup window that displays the translation.
The program Babylon includes built-in dictionaries such as English-English, Hebrew-English, English-German, English-French, English-Spanish, community-created dictionaries such as technical terms, jokes, acronyms, and premium content for an additional cost - Encyclopędia Britannica, Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The program also uses a text-to-speech agent to let users hear the proper pronunciation of words.
As well as its own dictionaries, Babylon has over 1200 reference works that are free of charge to Babylon users. These include general and technical dictionaries and monolingual glossaries. These titles span over 60 languages and are indexed under 400 categories covering subjects such as arts, business, computer, health, law, entertainment, and sports. Many of them have been compiled and submitted by Babylon users. All may be accessed free of charge on the Babylon Online Search pages.
Since 2006 Babylon provides access to a static version of Wikipedia in thirteen language versions (Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish). Babylon displays the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry, and gives users a direct link to the entire article on Wikipedia.org. As well as its translation product, Babylon Ltd. offers a free translation box to webmasters and affiliates. Babylon has also developed and offers an information retrieval product for the business market. (Retrieved and abridged from BookRags, 2006, http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Babylon_(program)#External_links).
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