Translation Management Systems: Your #1 TMS Guide
What is a translation management system (TMS)? Choosing a TMS solution can seem complex at best, never mind understanding how it works. We answer your language translation management system questions here in an easy-to-understand way.
What is a Translation Management System?
A translation management system is a system for producing and managing translations of files, digital content, web assets and more. It is also known as translation management software. This type of platform falls into the category of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. A TMS helps to translate, organize and manage large volumes of translated texts and documents.
Translation management systems are solutions used to centralize translations and facilitate a collaborative and streamlined translation workflow. Because translation management is rarely a one-person job, centralized access and easy collaboration are highly desirable in this type of translation software. This is why cloud translation management systems have become increasingly popular, as they can be accessed from a browser.
In short, translation management systems are productivity enhancers for human translation.
How Does Translation Management Work?
In a translation management system, the user uploads a file which is then automatically translated by a machine translation engine. These TMS software programs are commonly built on the Microsoft Translator or Google Translate engine framework, which provides a rough translation for the bulk of the document.
The text is then presented in an interface where it is separated into segments. These segments contain phrases or sentences, and the source language and target language version of the segments are aligned side-by-side.
The target language segments can then be revised within the same interface by someone who possesses written fluency of the target language. This process is called post-editing, and it serves to improve the quality of the machine-translated text (since machine translation isn’t perfect).
Post-editing within a TMS allows for a contextual experience, which helps the branding and intent of the document to remain intact.
Machine Learning and Translation Management Systems
In premium translation management systems, machine learning (a form of artificial intelligence) is oftentimes employed to remember the improved version of the machine-translated phrases and sentences that were post-edited. These are stored in a Translation Memory.
A Translation Memory (TM) is a bilingual repository within the TMS. It stores edited translations for future automatic recall. The Translation Memory automatically applies these changes to all repetitions of the phrase within the active document and future projects.
Why Use a TMS?
Translation Management System Benefits
A translation management system delivers the following 5 benefits:
- Delivers continuous translation quality improvements
- Eliminates repetitive post-editing of the same sentence or phrase
- Reduces manual labor (hours worked)
- Reduces translation-related costs
- Provides a return on investment
When You Should Use One
It’s time to adopt a better system for managing translations when you:
- Manage translations in spreadsheets
- Go back and forth by email or Slack with collaborators
- Have a large volume of documents and content to process
You can also take this assessment to determine whether or not you need a translation management system.
Who Uses Translation Management Software?
Medium-to-large enterprises are the most common users of translation management systems. Sometimes they leverage the benefits of TMS by way of hiring a translation agency, but they can further conserve resources by managing their translations in-house.
Enterprise translation management systems are popular due to the sizable amount of written text enterprises produce and use on a daily basis. When enterprises convert the language of a text to communicate with multilingual audiences, stakeholders and employees, it typically requires a generous amount of resources.
Managing multiple languages and dialects is time-intensive. A TMS can aid in translation productivity and quality assurance for these companies, therefore reducing costs and hours worked.
Selecting a Translation Management Solution
Selecting a translation management system is no easy decision. Even with all the TMS reviews and comparison tools available online, it’s still difficult to decipher which one is right for you. However, the following information will help you narrow it down.
Best Translation Management Software Features
Regardless of the translation management software you choose, there are specific translation and localization features you should always look for. Choose a translation management system based on these must-have features.
- File translator
- Copy-and-paste text translator
- Translation editor
- Machine learning & translation memory
- Termbase glossary support
- Batch file translation
- Flexible file type compatibility
- Collaboration: translation tracking, edit history, invite colleague to edit file
- Messaging & contextual conversation log
- User permission controls
- Ample commercial language pairs
- Spellcheck & custom dictionary
- Enterprise-level translation management security
- Compliant with industry mandates (e.g. SOX, GDPR, HIPAA)
- Live customer support
- Flexible purchase plans for scalability
- Robust API access for integrations
- Cloud-based TMS platform
- Real-time analytics & reporting
Cloud vs. Desktop
A cloud TMS is going to allow for more flexibility and less downtime than a desktop TMS. Here are 10 benefits of a cloud translation management system:
- Access your cloud-based TMS from multiple devices
- Greater insight into translation project status
- Better communication equals better collaboration
- No installation necessary
- More uptime
- Better value
- Operating system compatibility doesn’t matter
- Translate from anywhere on the globe
- Easy onboarding & user friendliness
- Enterprise-level security (verify with the TMS provider)
Pairaphrase’s enterprise translation management system is a cloud-based platform built for the modern enterprise and everyday business user.
With a suite of professional translation tools (minus the unnecessary bells and whistles), we build the power into the back end of the software. The result is an easy-to-use interface, short learning curve and user-friendly onboarding. Therefore, your company benefits from a faster path to ROI on your translation management investment. Not to mention you get all the features and must-haves listed above, plus more.
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