Translation Software: 5 Must-Have Features to Look out For
Translating content and localization, in general, can be a time-consuming task. As globalization continues to increase, it’s vital for companies to have their content translated and localized for their customers. Translation software has emerged as a cost-effective way to translate large amounts of content for organizations. With translation software, content can be contextually translated and companies can improve their brand and customer base.
When looking for translation software, it is important to consider the features that are offered. Some of the qualities you should look for in translation software include the quality of translation, speed of translation, and integrations. Below are five of the most important translation software features you should look for prior to adopting a translation software product.
1: Automation Capabilities
One of the biggest reasons why companies hesitate to use translation software is doing a lot of manual work. The average person who works with translation software is looking to expedite the translation process, not spend more time on it. The translation software you select should have extensive automation capabilities to help you spend less time translating and more time doing high leverage activities.
The automation capabilities usually come in the form of machine translation, automation workflows, or automated, Over The Air content delivery. With machine translation, content can be automatically translated without any human intervention.
Although most translations will still need a final look over the content, the initial manual translation takes up significant time and this automation helps overcome that. This is great, especially for translating large amounts of content or content that is generic in nature.
Then you also have things such as plugins that automate the file download/upload process from the translation software to your app and vice versa.
2: Translation Checks & Quality Assurance
In addition to automation, high translation quality is a cornerstone element of any good translation software. That’s why Translation Checks is an essential feature to have in your translation software.
As the name suggests, Translation Checks is a feature that automatically checks if your translations are free of errors. In the Transifex Translation Management System, you get 3 options to define what a translation check is going to do when it detects an anomaly:
- Off: Ignores the error.
- Warning: Notifies the translator that there is something wrong but doesn’t prevent them from saving the translation.
- Error: Notifies the translation that there is something wrong and doesn’t allow saving until the error is fixed.
You can choose from a wide list of automated translation checks to be performed. One of the most common ones is: “The translation respects any defined limits on the length of a string”, which is essential if you don’t want to break your app.
And if the pre-defined translation checks are not enough, you can always use Custom Translation Checks.
3: Translation Delivery Optimization
Ideally, the software you choose should enable you to deliver quality translations fast and effortlessly.
It’s hard to pick a specific feature for delivery speed optimization, as there are multiple ones that come to play.
One of the most useful ones is no doubt a Glossary as it sets standard terms that translators should use for a region and/or industry. Thus, you won’t have to waste any time trying to communicate with numerous writers about the terms they should use.
After that, you should also be able to search for strings, have a built-in Style Guide, and room for context.
For smaller websites, something very useful is the option of being able to look at what you are translating on the website live. In Transifex, we call this “Transifex Live“.
4: Collaborative Features
Companies that do content translation know how much of a collaborative effort translation is. At any given moment, you can have multiple team members working on different translation projects scattered all over the world. Without a proper system in place, this can become a very fractured and messy process. It’s a must for the translation tool you choose to have collaborative features that make working on translation projects easy.
Collaborative features that are common in translation software include dashboards, integrations, discussion sections, individual roles with different permissions for each role, and more.
Your team should be able to log in to the translation software and see what’s going on and who’s working on what translation project. They should also be able to easily integrate with the tools they’re already using such as Slack, Gmail etc. The more quality collaborative features the translation software has, the easier working on projects will be for all team members.
5: Translation Memory Management
Translation memory is vital. It helps reduce translation time and improves translation consistency. Translation memory works by storing past translations in a database.
When new content is translated, the translation software will automatically search the translation memory for similar content. If a match is found, the translation software will automatically insert the translation for you.
Translation software that has translation memory software will be much more impactful and will have higher translation quality.
With translation memory software, you can localize your content much easier and your translators can skip over repeatedly translating the same phrases. Make sure the translation software you select has translation memory capabilities because this can help automate a lot of the repetitive tasks associated with translating content.
The above-mentioned features are some of the top criteria you should consider when choosing translation software. Aspects like translation quality and speed will heavily impact your day-to-day experience with the product. So, make sure you’re pleased with them prior to committing to particular software. To learn more about how to create high-quality content on a global level, check out this guide here.
This article was written by alisquared.co.