Cloud Translation Blog
15 Best Professional Translation Software FeaturesPosted on: Jan 02, 2018
The key to successful and efficient translation is to find the best professional translation software for your business.
While translation platform needs might vary from company to company, there are some necessities that you should always look for when choosing professional translation software.
In this post, you’ll learn the top 10 best professional translation software features to help your organization get high-quality translations while reducing your costs and conserving your time.
Best Professional Translation Software Features to Seek
1. Ample Language Pairs
One of the best professional translation software features you could look for is compatibility with the language pairs your team requires (or will require). Before you invest in professional translation software, you should map out the languages you need to translate to and from. These are referred to as language pairs.
For example, you might work with French, English and Chinese. Just because a professional translation software system states it will translate French might mean it translates from French to English, but it doesn’t mean it will translate from French to Chinese (and vice versa).
2. File Translation
The best professional translation software you’ll find will include a file translator. If you come across translation software without this feature, stay away.
The software you choose should be compatible with all the file types your company definitely needs to translate. You should also think ahead. This means keeping in mind the additional types of files your company might need to translate in the future.
The best professional translation software around won’t only be able to translate files, but it will translate multiple files simultaneously with speed.
3. Automatic File Formatting
If you plan on translating digital files with professional translation software, you want to search for a system that will automatically format your files for you.
This is hands down one of the best professional translation software features you can find. This is because it will encode your image placement, font properties, spacing and paragraph breaks.
Otherwise, you will spend hours reformatting your output file to match the original.
4. Copy & Paste Translation
In some instances you won’t need to perform high-volume translations. The ability to gist an email, instant message, or paragraph of text from another website will be your task at hand. This is where copy-and-paste translation functionality will come in handy.
When shopping for professional translation software, make sure it will not only include a file translator, but also the ability to gist translations of small snippets of text via pasting.
5. Translation Memory
Translation Memory is the core component of any scalable translation process. It’s used by every major translation company in the world to lower costs, deliver ongoing quality improvements and reduce the resources it takes to translate.
It’s simply one of the best professional translation software features available to businesses focused on their bottom line.
Translation Memory learns your words and phrases as you translate. As you edit translations within the professional translation software, Translation Memory works in the background. It stores your translations as segments in a bilingual repository.
These segments are then used for future translation projects so that you never need to translate the same word or phrase twice. This is particularly useful for organizations using specific technical jargon—especially within content that needs to be updated on a regular basis.
Some examples of such materials include owners manuals, organizational code of conduct and HR training materials. Essentially, any content with a long shelf life.
It’s important to note that human translation is required for you to reap the benefits of Translation Memory.
6. Translation Editing
The best professional translation software to choose is one that includes the ability to edit translations. This is vital to achieving accurate translations when you’re using translation software.
This is because the software will typically produce a first draft translation for you using machine translation in combination with Translation Memory.
Take note of our calling it a “first draft.”
In most cases, the software will give you a file that is predominantly machine translation. This is never going to be as perfect as human translation.
The more obscure or technical the text is that you need to translate, the more human post-editing will be required in order to achieve high-quality translations. Think translating an automobile service repair manual for mechanics from Japanese to English.
You’ll need human translation because the translation requires human expertise in that specific subject matter area and for those languages. Machine translation is nowhere near being adequate for this task.
That being said, the best professional translation software platforms are able to improve the initial draft translations with users’ translation edits.
These systems can improve draft translation quality quickly.
No need for elaboration here. Look for an integrated spellchecker to eliminate the need to proofread, so you can focus on the human translation component.
8. Translation Collaboration
The best professional translation software you could choose will support team collaboration. Why? There is rarely ever just one person completing a translation request.
Bilingual internal resources are often used to produce translations in global organizations. This means that you’ll need to be able to easily share translations and request editing from within the translation software interface.
Choose cloud-based professional translation software so that you can collaborate with international colleagues. This way, they don’t need to install software on their computers, and everything related to your translation projects will be accessible in one central hub.
9. Translation Tracking
Speaking of collaboration, it’s important to be able to track the translations that your colleagues contribute on a translation project.
The best professional translation software will include translation edit history. You’ll want to be able to see the details tied to each segment of edited text, including date and timestamp, the editor’s name and what was changed.
10. Voice-Over Translation
Does your organization produce audio and video for internal purposes such as employee training? Professional translation software that allows you to get text-to-speech output files will come in handy for global training initiatives.
It’s handy to receive an audio file for an uploaded script, in the target language. You’ll save money because you won’t need to hire voice talent. If voice-over translation is important to your organization, make sure you define which languages you need voiceovers for.
You’ll want to be sure that the most common commercial languages are available.
11. Live Human Support
The best professional translation software will provide you with 24/7 live human support. After all, your translation software should save you time in all respects.
Don’t buy software from a company that won’t give you the chance to speak to a human by phone when you need help.
12. API Access
Does your company like to connect its software systems with each other? If so, translation API access is important. Before you purchase professional translation software, make sure it gives you the option to access its API.
The best professional translation software is one that comes with high standards for security. Why? Any company that uploads its data into software is at risk of a data breach.
Look for two-step authentication, encrypted file storage, SSL certification and PCI-compliant payment processing.
14. Private Cloud & On-Site Hosting Options
If your organization needs extra security or to adhere to strict data compliance laws, private cloud and onsite hosting options are important to look for in professional translation software.
If this is important to your organization, make sure this is available as an option so that you choose the best professional translation software for your organization.
With any software that you use, you need to check the Terms of Service to make sure they don’t reserve the right to use your data in ways that your company disapproves of.
You don’t want the translation software company to repurpose your data in any way that could compromise the confidentiality of your data. This includes sharing, indexing or publishing it.
Our Recommendation for the Best Professional Translation Software
At Pairaphrase, we developed the all-around best professional translation software available on the market today. This is because we’re hyper-focused on ease-of-use combined with the powerful technology you need to get smart, safe and fast translation.
With multiple plans available to support your organization’s specific needs, we’re here to support you as your organization grows.
Not to mention Pairaphrase includes all of the 15 features we list above, plus more.