Save time and money with translation tools

Translation tools are one of the most important assets of any solvent translation and localization company in the industry. They speed up and facilitate the translators’ work, which results in a clear benefit for the client. Thanks to translation tools, it is possible to offer very tight deadlines and budgets that are tailored to each client’s budget.

There are several types of translation tools. Let’s go over the most important ones:

Table of contents:

  • Computer-assisted translation tools
  • Text alignment software
  • Terminology management tools
  • Machine translation tools

Computer Assisted Translation Tools

Computer Assisted Translation Tools (CAT) are software whose main feature is the creation of translation memories. This software stores all the translated text, always paired with the source text, dividing it into units called “segments”. As the professional progresses in his translation work, the computer-assisted translation software stores the segments in a database, which keeps the source-language text linked to the target-language text. Thus, when this tool detects a new segment that shares some elements with a previously translated segment, it displays the already translated segment as an option or proposal. The translator is then able to see the terminology and style that has been used previously and can maintain consistency throughout the document

Clearly, this tool is an advantage for the translator, who does not have to constantly check the terms used, as the CAT tool shows previously translated segments when it detects a match. But it is also a great advantage for the client, who can be sure that all his documentation will be consistent in style, tone of voice, terminology and all other aspects involved

Another great advantage of CAT software is that it creates a separate translation memory for each project. That means that each project has its own database and its own stored documentation, and we use that client’s unique translation memory for each and every project he or she commissions from us.

Text alignment software

Another very important tool for the text translation process is the alignment software. It is a powerful tool capable of creating a translation memory from a document with the text in the source language and another document with the same text translated into the target language

This software divides both texts into segments and tries to match them, determining which target segment corresponds to which source segment. This is a very useful tool, but it is obvious that it needs a human hand and eye for the final result to be as expected. Although it is a highly developed and extremely useful software, it is obvious that it can make mistakes, which are corrected by an expert linguist so that the translation memory obtained contains exact matches between the source text and the target text

This tool is of great help if you already have some text translated into the language for which you wish to hire the services. With minimal intervention by an expert translator, a translation memory can be created in the database, allowing you to maintain cohesion in all your documents.

Terminology management tools

Another tool that also helps and contributes to the success of translations is terminology management software

Terminology management tools are programs that generate databases that include all the terminology used by each client, regardless of the sector to which it belongs or the technical field in which it is included. These systems also allow professionals to add new terms with the specific translation requested by the client, or with the official translation approved by the corresponding official bodies

The clear advantage of this resource for clients is that the translator can check, while working, that each term has been translated into the target language in a consistent manner throughout all the documents that are part of the project entrusted to us. Obviously, when the same client requests translation services again, the linguists will use the same database to do their work

Of course, terminology management tools create a unique database for each client. This is why it is so important to keep abreast of new developments and to have a solid infrastructure in place to store and manage the large amounts of data that we come to handle throughout the day.

Machine translation tools

This type of tool, as its name suggests, is capable of creating an automatic translation of the source text into the language chosen by the client

This type of program provides a very rudimentary translation, simply replacing words from the source language with words from the target language. So this method, by itself, does not conform to the quality standards followed by companies such as ours. That is why it is important to emphasize that this type of translation always goes through a process called “post-editing”. Post-editing is a procedure whereby a professional linguist reviews the machine translation and adds the relevant nuances and meanings, in accordance with the market and the target audience

Obviously, machine translation tools alone do not have the ability to discern the right term or expression at any given moment, nor can they integrate the same nuances into the text as a qualified and specialized translator. That is why it is so important that, when using them, there is always a team of experts behind them who are able to adapt the translation obtained so that it possesses the naturalness and precision that this type of tool cannot provide.

After spending several years working as a freelancer in the world of translation, mainly technical, she decided to join ABC Translations’ in-house linguistic team. Eva has the experience of having lived both worlds, that of the freelance translator and that of the in-house staff. And that, together with her extensive background, gives her a great global vision of what a technical translation should be like.

Nathan Woods

About the author

ABC Translations