Want to go international?

April 19, 1999|By Michael Stroh

Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer can handle sites in Spanish and other Romance languages with little trouble. But more complex languages such as Chinese, Russian or Arabic typically require a special font.

Microsoft's Web site has several free Asian and European language packs available for download. Once they're installed, when you land on a foreign Web site you can select the appropriate typeface under Internet Explorer's VIEW/ FONT menu. The company also offers a free add-on called Global IME that allows you to put Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text into your Web pages. For both, visit www.microsoft.com/Windows/ie/ Features/ime.asp.

Netscape Navigator also supports multiple languages. Visit http://home.netscape.com/download/index.html for information.

In addition to a language-ready browser, Macintosh users may need one of Apple's language kits, sold on its Web site (www.apple. com) or through a reseller.

If your language requirements are more exotic, the University of Oregon's Yamada Language Center (http://babel.uoregon.edu) is a warehouse of fonts for PCs and Macs, including typefaces for faux-languages such as Klingon and Romulan. Or check out the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Dallas, with 432 fonts for 89 languages (www.sil.org/computing/fonts/index.htm).

If you want the latest on Germany's Green Party or an authentic sushi recipe, you'll need a search engine that can handle foreign languages. WorldBlaze (www. worldblaze.com) is a good one for common European tongues. You type in a key word in English and the engine automatically translates it into your target language, pulls up the search results, translating them back into English. As a bonus, WorldBlaze can also translate and send e-mail for you. AltaVista's World Index search engine (www. altavista.com/av/oneweb/) handles Asian-language searches, while Yahoo's has a growing number of International directories (www.yahoo.com).

If you don't speak a foreign language, you'll need a virutal translator. AltaVista's free Babel Fish translation service was the industry pioneer, translating words, sentences and whole Web pages in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. By this summer, the company says it will add Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Russian (http://babelfish.altavista.com).

Pub Date: 04/19/99

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