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Software for Food Distributors

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Introducing the Language Translator

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Introducing the Language Translator

May 28 2012
At our last training class (May 9-11), we were able to give the students a look at some of the "secret" projects the programmers here at NECS have been working on.

One of these projects, our Language Translator, is due to be released in the next 4-6 weeks, as part of entree.NET.  

To summarize, it will allow your customers (and salespeople) entering orders online, via entree.NET, to view your item descriptions, class names and item notes, in another language besides English.  They can also chose to have reports translated into the language of their choice.

Why offer this?  Well I think the answer is obvious, as many of you serve food establishments who speak and write in another language.  It has also been a request that I have heard from customers for many years.

How does it work?  Behind the scenes, we use a special version of Google Translate (for software developers called "Google Translate API") to translate your current item descriptions (all four description lines, including the customer specific descriptions as held in the Customer Special Price/Standard Order file), class names and item notes.

Over 60 of the worlds most popular languages are supported.  Below is a screenshot of where you define the languages you want to use:



Is there a cost involved?  Yes, there is a cost of $50/month if you would like to begin using the Language Translator service.  
Why is there a cost?  Because this version of Google Translate is a paid service (to Google), where we are charged per character translated.  We are also limiting your language choices to two additional languages.  If you would like to offer more than two additional languages, please contact us.

For example, you can choose to have your items translated into Spanish and Chinese.  When customers log onto your site, they will see a drop down menu in the top right corner of thier screen, as shown here:



After they select their language, all the item descriptions, class names and item notes will be displayed in that language.

The following are some examples of how this looks.

First, here is a close up image of the Standard Order screen depicted in normal English:





Here is the same screen converted to Spanish:




Here is the same screen converted to Chinese (Simplified):



And for all my Italian friends, family and customers:




If you can read Spanish, Chinese or Italian, you will see that the system did a pretty good job at translating.

However, this is NOT a perfect translation system.  

It first depends on your descriptions, class names, etc., not being written in a cryptic maner so that reading them in English is even hard to do.

Also, sometimes we spotted interesting translations, such as "crumbled blue cheese" being converted into Russian as "destroyed blue cheese".  Yes, we had a good laugh when we discovered this! 

The bottom line is that it should be more than satisfactory for helping your customers place their order and understand the products they are purchasing from you.

Version 4



We plan to take our Language Translator to the next level in our version 4 release of entree (due out this fall).  

Here is what we are planning within the main entree system:

1. In Customer File Maintenance, you will be able to define the customers "preferred" language.

2. In Customer File Maintenance, you will be able to define if item descriptions on Loading Sheets should print in both English and the customers preferred language, or the customers preferred language only. 

3. In Customer File Maintenance, you will be able to define if item descriptions on Invoices should print both English and the customers preferred language or the customers preferred language only.  If using a laser printer for your invoices, you can define which "copy" you want translated.  For example, the first two copies could print in English and the third copy could print in Chinese.

4. When generating reports, you will be able to select the language the report will be generated in.

Note that a laser printer will be the preferred method of printing in other languages, for proper support of the language character sets.

Well, this "secret project" is not very secret at all now, and I hope you are as excited about it as I am!