Cloud Translation Blog
15 Best Translation Management System Features
In order to succeed in language translation, you need to find the best translation management system for your organization.
While translation system needs might vary company to company, there are some necessities that you should always look for when choosing translation management software.
In this post, you’ll learn the top 15 best translation management system features to help your organization get high-quality translations while cutting your costs and conserving your time.
Top Translation Management System Features to Look for
1. Plentiful Language Pairs
One of the best translation management system features you could look for is compatibility with multiple language pairs. Before you invest in a translation management system, you should map out the languages you need to translate to and from. These are called language pairs.
Just because a translation management system lists compatibility with a language, it doesn’t mean that it will pair with the specific languages you’ll need it to pair with.
2. File Translator
The best translation management system you’ll find will include a file translator.
You want to make sure that the software you go with is compatible with all the file types your company might need to translate. You also want to make sure it is able to translate multiple files simultaneously and with speed.
3. Automatic File Formatting
When you use a translation management system to translate a file, you want to look for a system that includes automatic file formatting.
This is one of the best translation management system features you can find, because it will encode most of your font properties, image placement and spacing. Otherwise, you are likely to spend hours reformatting your output file to match the original.
**Keep in mind this technology isn’t perfect, but it will save you some time.**
4. Copy & Paste Translation
Sometimes you need the ability to just quickly gist an email or instant message. This is where a copy and paste wizard will come in handy.
You want to be sure that your translation management system will not only include a file translator, but also the ability to get quick translations for small snippets of text.
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 continuous quality improvements and reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to translate.
Translation Memory learns your words and phrases as you translate. As you edit translations within the software, Translation Memory technology works in the background to store your translations as segments in a bilingual repository. These 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 technical jargon with content that needs to be updated on a regular basis; like owners manuals, organizational code of conduct, really any document or product type that has a long shelf life and is likely to require translation over and over again. It’s important to note that human translation is required for you to reap the benefits of Translation Memory.
6. Translation Editing
The ability to edit translations in a translation management system is vital to achieving accurate translations. This is because the best translation management systems will typically use machine translation, in combination with Translation Memory, to produce a first draft translation for you.
Notice our use of “first draft.” In most cases, it’s giving you predominantly machine translation for the file, which is never going to be as perfect as human translation. The more technical or obscure the text the more editing the translation will require.
The best translation management systems are able to improve the initial draft translations with a user’s translation edits. These systems can improve draft translation quality in a short period of time.
This is why a human translator is necessary for quality translations, and why translation editing is a feature you’ll find in the best translation management system available.
7. Integrated Spellchecker
Integrated spell-checking is a helpful tool for obvious reasons. Save yourself the time and headache of proofreading for spelling errors and focus on your translation editing.
8. Translation Collaboration
The best translation management system you could choose will support collaboration. This is because 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.
What’s more, you shouldn’t settle for desktop software. We recommend you choose a web-based translation management system that will make collaboration possible with colleagues across the globe. This way, they don’t need to install software on their computer, and everything related to your translation projects will be accessible in one central hub.
9. Translation Tracking
With translation collaboration should come translation revision tracking. It’s important to be able to track the translations that your colleagues contribute when you’re working together on a translation project.
The best translation management systems will include this feature. You’ll want to be able to see the details tied to each segment of edited text. This includes date and timestamp, the editor’s name and what was changed.
10. Voice-Over Translation
A translation management system that allows you to get text-to-speech output files will come in handy for organizations that produce audio and video for training or other internal purposes.
Uploading a script and getting speech output is handy and can save you significant money on hiring professional voice talent. If voice-over translation is important to your organization, make sure you look into which languages are available with the voice-over translation feature.
You’ll want to be sure that the most common commercial languages are available.
11. Live Human Support
The best translation management system will provide you with live human support. After all, your translation software should be saving you time in all respects.
Don’t opt for a translation system that won’t give you the chance to speak to a human being on the phone if you have a question or need help addressing an issue.
12. Robust API Access
API access is important for integrating your translation software with other systems that your company uses. These could include content management systems, project management systems and customer support platforms—just to name a few.
The best translation management system will have robust API access available because the demand for it exists.
13. Enterprise-Level Security
We don’t know of an organization that shouldn’t care about data security. In our opinion, all companies should.
However, some operate in industries in which a data breach would mean their company suffers consequences that would determine the fate of the organization. To these companies, and likely to yours, the best translation management system is one that comes with high standards for security.
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 doesn’t approve 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.
15. Ease of Use
Last but not least, the best translation management software will provide ease of use with minimal learning curve. Need we say more?
Our Recommendation for the Best Translation Management System
At Pairaphrase, we developed the all-around best web-based translation management system 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.
Not to mention Pairaphrase includes all of the 15 features we list above, plus more.
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