Strategic Partnership for Asian Languages
Tokyo Friday 28 February 2003
Enfour Inc. and The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. have agreed to form a strategic alliance to cooperate in multilingual input method technologies and online dictionaries for mobile devices in Asian markets. This strategic and technological alliance provides the most powerful functionality yet seen to mobile devices in Asia. The partnership will also result in the most comprehensive online dictionaries ever created and targeted to global roaming mobile phones. This will form a major component of Enfour, Inc.’s global roaming strategy.
Enfour, Inc.’s “UniFEP” is the name for a series of software products that enable multilingual text input. (UniFEP stands for Unicode text Front End Processor) Based on Unicode and optimized for handheld systems, Enfour is rolling out practical Asian language solutions (including Arabic and Indic scripts) for both open and embedded platforms previously incompatible with such languages.
Targeting the next generation of smart mobile phones, wireless information devices and consumer electronic devices, UniFEP is evolving into a compact, portable library offering a complete solution for the display, rendering, input and output of all non-European scripts in devices where language and localization is a core part of device functionality.
Advanced computational lexicography methods from The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. are used to compile and maintain a Unicode-based database that is serving as a source of data for CJK input method editors (IME) and front-end processors (FEP) as well as MT systems and NLP applications.
These comprehensive CJK lexical databases currently contain about 2.5 million Japanese and about 3.0 million Chinese lexemes, including detailed grammatical, phonological and semantic attributes for general vocabulary, technical terms, and several million proper nouns. The database of proper nouns, which has about 1.3 million Japanese and 1.9 million Chinese items, is without peer both in terms of quantity and quality. The single-character database covers every aspect of CJK characters, including frequency, phonology, radicals, character codes, and much more. Also under development by The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. is a comprehensive database of Arabic lexical resources, especially proper nouns.
Jack Halpern, President, The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. states, “Enfour’s UniFEP input method technology, the most advanced of its kind, is making major contributions to the mobile industry in Asia. CJKI is proud to enter this strategic alliance and happy to contribute our vast CJK lexical resources. It is our aim to provide the highest quality language resources to as many people as possible across Asia as possible. Having Enfour embed input methods into multiple platforms as well offer dictionaries online we will reach that goal very quickly.”
Richard Northcott, CEO, The Enfour Group explains, “CJKI’s depth of linguistic knowledge and continued research ensures that we will be able to bring out the highest quality and most up-to-day language solutions available on any mobile device. In an increasing globalized world, multilingual support in information devices will become more desirable. Consumer electronics are pushing toward simultaneous release in multiple markets. Having products globalized in the factory will lead to great cost reductions and shorter time to market.”
UniFEP is an input system that simultaneously enables multiple Asian or other scripts via both pen or keyboard. UniFEP is an multi-platform, open architecture that provides full third-party APIs via an online SDK. It supports handwriting recognition extensions and by using plug-ins for encodings; dictionary and code-based input logic; and multiple font modules, UniFEP the most flexible and expandable language solution available on any handheld platform. With up-to-date and culturally sensitive dictionary-based resources, UniFEP has an in-depth knowledge of the languages it supports. UniFEP supports the full range of written Chinese including eight styles of input and character coverage for the three major Chinese markets. For Korean, UniFEP offers two phonetic keyboards and a complete hanja dictionary as well.
About The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. (CJKI)
CJKI has become one of the world’s prime resources for CJK lexical resources, and is contributing to CJK information processing technology by providing software developers with high-quality lexical resources, as well as through research activities and consulting services. The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc. (CJKI) consists of a group of linguists and other experts who specialize in CJK lexicography. CJKI is headed by Jack Halpern, editor-in-chief of the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary which has become a standard reference work for studying Japanese. The principal activity of the CJKI is the development and continuous expansion of a comprehensive database (DESK) that covers every aspect of how Chinese characters are used in CJK languages, including Cantonese.
About Enfour, Inc.
Enfour, Inc. is a Tokyo-based specialist in multilingual text handling, communications software and imaging for mobile systems. Enfour has been creating Asian language solutions, development tools and packaged software for handheld computer platforms since 1994. Enfour is the Japanese distributor for Psion Computers and publisher of the “UniFEP” series of language input software.