Compared with the rest of Europe, Britain's foreign language skills aren't too hot. At worst we can be found abroad, sunburnt and confused, shouting in English in the hope that somehow the message will get through. Well, Ultralingua is trying to get us up to speed.
This program is a multi-language dictionary that works in conjunction with the other applications on your Mac. A variety of European languages are available. We downloaded our copy of Ultralingua with the Spanish-English dictionary. Here's how it works.
After installing, you need to set a shortcut key to activate translations. This is set in the Ultralingua Preferences panel. We used the default [F1] key for our test. Now imagine you are learning Spanish and trying to read some Spanish text inside Microsoft Word. When you come across a word that needs translation, you simply highlight it with your cursor and then hit the shortcut key.
A pop-up window magically appears next to the word, containing a translation. But wait, things get better. It works at the OS level and is not tied to any one app, so you can use it with browsers. If you want to read an online Spanish newspaper, no problem: just highlight any word in the same way, hit [F1] and you get the same results.
It translates at lightning speed and is accurate for both common and relatively obscure words like 'siphon' and 'aggregate'. If you want further languages, you can download them from Ultralingua's website - the company is adding dictionaries and reference guides all the time. Recent additions include specialist resources like a dictionary for French medical words.
The downside is you can't translate whole groups of words, only one at a time. Still, we love this program; it's clean, easy to use and does as it says. Try out the special version on the DVD. Mac Format Staff