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Babylon 9 Alternatives
When it comes to translation software for Windows and Mac computers, nothing has been as commercially successful as Babylon. And with the release of Babylon 9 this past March, the company behind it is increasing its market share across the globe. The software now translates in more than 75 different languages while also giving access to Wikipedia and other live resources.
Unfortunately, a license for the complete version of Babylon 9 is prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Others simply don't want to pay the price for so little use of the program. Still others cannot use Babylon 9 because they're running a Linux or BSD operating system. The question is, are there alternatives?
Online Babylon 9 alternatives
One of the things that make Babylon 9 unique from its predecessors is the fact that it now runs on a live, online platform. Where previous versions could function properly without an Internet connection the new version cannot. Therefore, as long as you have to be online anyway you do have other options:
- Google Translate - This service, brought to you by the world's most used search engine can be used as a stand-alone online translator or in conjunction with a browser plug-in for Firefox.
- Reference.com - This website bills itself as the largest online dictionary and translation service in the world. It has no browser integration, so all of the tools will have to be used manually, but it all works very nicely
- Bing Translator - Bing is Microsoft's foray into search engines and direct competitor of Google. Their translation service works very much the same way as a Google Translate and includes browser support for Internet Explorer.
Offline Babylon 9 alternatives
If you're looking for resident programs that run from your hard drive and don't need an Internet connection, there aren't many to choose from. However, they do exist. Three of the most popular are:
- GoldenDict - As an offline dictionary and translation program, GoldenDict does very well. It doesn't have all the extra features of Babylon 9, but it's very functional as a dictionary and translator. It has support for native Babylon dictionaries as well as a handful of other formats.
- ABBYY Lingvo - ABBYY Lingvo is a Russian project offering both a resident and online version. When it first came out it was only usable in Russian and English. The latest version also has a German user option. It translates into 21 different languages.
- Babiloo - Although Babiloo doesn't get much attention it is a very good offline alternative for Babylon 9. Its main appeal is that it is a free, open source project suitable for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. It lacks the advanced features of Babylon 9 yet is very good as a basic dictionary and translation tool.
Babylon 9 alternatives for Linux and BSD
Despite the fact that Linux and BSD use is growing rapidly, the software world largely ignores them as viable operating systems. As a result, there are few resident alternatives for Linux and BSD users. GoldenDict works well, as does Babiloo, but if you need more functionality you probably want to use one of the online alternatives like Google Translate.
If all you need are basic translation services, you're welcome to download the trial version of Babylon 9. You get quite a bit of usability at no charge. If you're a heavy user of translation software and you don't mind the $99 price tag, Babylon 9 can't be beat in terms of features and functionality.
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