By Barnaby Chesterman
Arabic speakers canaccess far more information on the web in their own language thanks to Ajeeb.com which is powered by a Sakhr translation engine.
Ajeeb.com is a new web portal developed by Sakhr Software Company to bring a set of unique services and content to Arab users.
Ajeeb.com is a gateway for Arabic users to enjoy the same range and breadth of information on the web as is available in English. The word ajeeb in Arabic actually means unusual or unique and the services offered by the company are certainly that.
Ajeeb.com is a bilingual portal that the owners hope will become “the main path foor Arabs who want to use the Internet.” It’s a free service that will Arabise the Internet by translating English content into Arabic with a 70% accuracy. “We are not claiming perfection,” said Fahad Al-Sharekh, Ajeeb CEO. “But we are laying the foundations for perfection – we are aiming for an accuracy of greater than 90% in the future.”
Powered by the Sakhr proprietary Machine Translation engine, the portal allows users to translate English text or web pages into Arabic in less than four seconds on a 56KB modem. This unique facility will therefore open up access to the World Wide Web for Arabic users on a scale that has never be available before.
“While continuously incorporating new channels, services and features to Ajeeb.com to make it the ‘portal of choice’ for Arab users worldwide, the English version of the portal will act as a channel of information and communication between the region and the world,” continued Al-Sharekh. “We seek to make Ajeeb.com a bridge that breaks the language and cultural barriers and assists in integrating the Arab world with the global village.”
Ajeeb.com also provides Arabic cultural and business content and other services such as a directory. The portal hosts a multilingual dictionary that provides the equivalent term in five languages – Arabic, English, French, German and Turkish. It also offers users free hosting of web pages, free e-mail, weather forecast, horoscope, a TV guide and a community channel. “Some of Ajeeb.com’s services will also be delivered on a WAP platform for the benefit of mobile phone users,” added Al-Sharekh.