SYSTRAN Releases SYSTRAN.io Translation APIs

This week, machine translation solutions provider SYSTRAN released SYSTRAN.io, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will enable developers, startups, and smaller businesses to access and implement the translation solutions and machine learning that have only been within reach to SYSTRAN's larger clients.

SYSTRAN's natural language processing can identify more than 60 languages, from Arabic to Urdu and more, with capabilities for named entity recognition, speech-to-text transcription, and part-of-speech tagging (currently in beta), to name just a few.

SYSTRAN's machine translation has even broader application and is capable of more than 100 language pairs, typically translating "in 20 seconds what a human can complete in a working day," says Ken Behan, vice president of sales and marketing at SYSTRAN. "The quality will not be of a human level" he continues, "but by training the [machine translation] engine, the quality does improve significantly."

SYSTRAN.io puts this power into the hands of users everywhere.

The new APIs also enable users to implement dictionary management for custom lexicons, text extraction, speech recognition in the form of speech-to-text for 16 languages, and optical character recognition for images and scanned documents.

"The API project has been in production for about 10 years, now," Behan says. "Because of the nature of our original services and the types of clients that wanted them, we only know about 10 percent of what our customers do with our products. But we saw an opportunity to extend the functionality of the enterprise server when clients started asking for different ways to enhance what our services could already do, tailored specifically for them."

The APIs integrate SYSTRAN's technology into workflows and products via a hosted service. The interface is RESTful, giving it flexibility in HTTP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS environments, as well as allowing access to the hosted services for mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android via Mobile API keys. In addition, the APIs function using the CORS (Cross-origin HTTP Request) HTTP access control to allow applications to request data from the hosted service, even though the resources are likely housed on a different server from the the one where the request originated.

When asked how the APIs differ in scope or substance from the services that SYSTRAN's big clients are paying premiums for, Behan says security is key. "They want it all to be behind a firewall," he says. "They don't want any of their sentiments for translation to have to leave the premises. With the APIs, security is at the discretion of the developers."

A developer using SYSTRAN.io's APIs right out of the gate is Good Squire, a mobile translation app that also allows multilanguage posting to social media. SYSTRAN.io produces the added benefit of built-in back-translation from the converted text, enabling users to see how closely the translated sentiment matches their intentions.

SYSTRAN remains excited about the possibilities offered by the new APIs. "The APIs allow all companies to act like big companies. They can facilitate multilingual collaboration within teams, ease of customer service across borders, and help with transitioning documentation. In a new business environment where companies, even small startups, often decided to go global from day one, the ability to function across languages is key," Behan concludes. "And the best part is that our users don't have to pay for the service until they start scaling up toward making a profit."

Up to 1 million characters per month are free to translate via SYSTRAN.io.

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