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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
Tsunami MT 5.0 and Typhoon MT 5.01 let you translate English and Japanese within the Western versions of Windows. Other programs only perform simple word-for-word translations or require Japanese Windows and font kits.
Typhoon translates from Japanese to English, while Tsunami translates from English to Japanese. While the programs provide basic dictionaries, you can purchase additional ones for scientific and technical subjects or easily create your own.
Both programs employ Neocor's Front End Processor subprogram, support hiragana or katakana phonetic characters and allow you to assemble kanji characters using an on-screen field. The programs translate quickly, but they need to be carefully monitored for translation errors in both languages. We found that Japanese "polite" language, as opposed to the "very polite" language, works best for translation.
Several quirks persist in the 5.0 revisions of both programs. The text is unreadable unless the colors are set to black text on a white background, and sometimes sentences get garbled if you do extensive editing during an interactive translation.
Neocor's Web site offers free, downloadable trial versions of both programs. If you can't afford Japanese Windows and need to access both languages, you'll be pleased.