15 Must-Have Machine Translation Software Tools

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Written by

Chidinma Egwuogu

Machine translation software cannot replace human translators yet.

But it sure is getting there!

It's captivating to see just how close we are to that once-unthinkable frontier. Every update, every tweak in these tools bridges the gap between machine efficiency and human finesse.

In this guide, we'll introduce 15 of the best machine translators, highlight their unique features, offer insights, and help you choose the right one for your translation needs.

Pro tip: Use Centus' translation management system with your MT software to combine speed with the quality only humans can provide. Learn more.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

-What is machine translation software?

-Ranking criteria for the best machine translation software

-15 Best machine translation tools

-1. Google Translate

-2. DeepL

-3. Bing Translator

-4. Amazon Translate

-5. SDL Trados Studio

-6. Systran

-7. PROMT

-8. LingoHub

-9. Babylon

-10. IBM Language Translator

-11. iTranslate

-12. Reverso

-13. KantanMT

-14. Text United

-15. ModernMT

What Is Machine Translation Software?

What is machine translation software?

Machine translation software is a technology that uses artificial intelligence or algorithms to automatically translate text or speech from one language to another.

Machine translation software is used for companies’ internal and external communication, data analysis, customer support, and research, among others.

The key types of translations performed by machine translation software are:

  • Text-to-text

  • Text-to-speech

  • Speech-to-text

  • Speech-to-speech

  • Word images-to-text

Ranking Criteria for the Best Machine Translation Software Tools

When looking for the best machine translation technology, there's more to consider than just its ability to convert text from one language to another. You should also consider how these tools can help you with your localization projects, among other things.

Here are the critical criteria we used for our pick:

  • Accuracy: Superior software should translate text while maintaining the original context and sentiment. Does it frequently misinterpret phrases, or does it offer clear and coherent translations consistently?

  • Usability: An intuitive interface is essential. The ideal software caters to users of all levels, ensuring tasks can be completed with ease.

  • Speed: Quick translations are essential for businesses trying to stay relevant, especially in this era of fast-moving trends. How swiftly does the software deliver accurate results?

  • Integration capabilities: We considered how well the software integrates with other tools, apps, or platforms to ensure a seamless workflow for businesses.

  • Support: Top-tier customer support can make a significant difference. How responsive is the software provider when issues or questions arise? Do they have a community?

  • Innovation: Unique features or functionalities can set a tool apart. Does the software offer something special that could be particularly beneficial for businesses?

  • Value for money: Assessing the software's cost in relation to its features is crucial. Does the price point reflect the value provided?

With these criteria in mind, we've handpicked the top machine translation software tools that truly deliver on their promises.

Best 15 Machine Translation Tools

With the right machine translation tool, businesses can instantly connect with international audiences. Let's take a look at the top machine translation engines that make this possible.

1. Google Translate

Google translate

Source: Google Translate

  • Performance (⚙️9/10): Known for fast translations, Google Translate provides good accuracy for major languages. Its user-friendly interface ensures straightforward use.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7/10): Works well across various devices and platforms. It has an active community forum for support and queries.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): With Neural Machine Translation (NMT) integration, it offers context-aware translations that feel natural.

  • Value for money (💰10/10): Being free and feature-rich, it's a great deal for users.

2. DeepL

DeepL screenshot

Source: DeepL

  • Performance (⚙️9.5/10): DeepL stands out for its exceptional translation quality, especially for European languages. The translations are natural and retain the text's original nuances.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8/10): While primarily web-based, there's also a dedicated desktop app for offline tasks. Their support team is prompt and helpful.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): Using advanced neural networks, DeepL often delivers translations that can compete with human ones.

  • Value for money (💰9/10): Although there's a free version, the Pro offers more features and unlimited translations, justifying its cost for businesses.

3. Bing Translator (formerly Microsoft Translator)

Bing translator

Source: Bing

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): Microsoft ensures accuracy in over 60 languages. However, some users report occasional odd translations for less common phrases and languages.
  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧9/10): Integrated seamlessly with Microsoft products and available on various platforms, including mobile. Their documentation and support channels are comprehensive.

  • Innovation (💡7/10): Although it uses neural networks for translations, it doesn't always match the nuance captured by leading competitors.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): It's free for basic usage with paid options offering higher limits and functionalities suitable for businesses.

4. Amazon Translate

Amazon Translate

Source: Amazon

  • Performance (⚙️8.5/10): Amazon's translation tool is particularly strong for business and technical jargon, owing to its integration with AWS services and its focus on enterprise customers.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8/10): Best suited for enterprises using AWS services. It can be a bit complex for users but offers extensive documentation.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): Makes use of advanced machine learning techniques. It’s especially proficient at understanding and translating technical and business contexts.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): While it provides accurate translations, the pricing is more tailored for businesses and might seem steep for casual users.

5. SDL Trados Studio

SDL trados screenshot

Source: SDL

  • Performance (⚙️9/10): Renowned in the professional translation community, SDL Trados Studio is known for its high accuracy and extensive features tailored for detailed translation projects.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7/10): While powerful, it might have a steeper learning curve for beginners. Its integration mainly focuses on Windows, which can be limiting for Mac or Linux users.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): Trados offers unique features like translation memory and terminology management, ensuring consistent translation quality over large projects.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): Its pricing is on the higher side, but it's a worthy investment for professionals looking for an advanced tool.

6. Systran

Systran screenshot

Source: Systran

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): Systran has been in the translation game for a long time, ensuring reliable translations, especially for European languages.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8/10): It offers a range of products catering to different platforms, including web, desktop, and mobile. The support and documentation are also commendable.

  • Innovation (💡7.5/10): While it uses neural translation models, it sometimes lags behind the top-tier tools in handling nuanced translations.

  • Value for money (💰7/10): With multiple product offerings, users can choose based on their budget, but some might find certain products a tad pricey for the features.

7. PROMT

PROMT Screenshot

Source: PROMT

  • Performance (⚙️7.5/10): Although it does not offer as many languages as other MT tools. PROMT is a solid choice for those seeking desktop translation solutions.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7/10): While it caters mainly to the Windows and Linux audience, the offline capabilities it provides can be invaluable in situations without the internet. It has a mobile app too.

  • Innovation (💡7/10): Its strength lies in offline translations and handling texts where internet-powered neural models might not be available. Some users, however, have pointed out challenges with idiomatic phrases in some languages.

  • Value for money (💰7/10): Reasonably priced, especially for those who prioritize offline translations. They also offer a 7-day free trial for their private-use packs.

8. LingoHub

LingoHub machine translation provider

Source: Lingohub

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): LingoHub is more than just a translator; it's also a platform for developers and translators to collaborate on software localization projects.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8.5/10): It seamlessly integrates with popular development tools and platforms.

  • Innovation (💡8.5/10): LingoHub provides a translation memory, a glossary, and even a style guide for consistent and high-quality translations.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): While mostly targeted towards software development and localization projects, the price matches the comprehensive features and tools it offers.

9. Babylon

Babylon software screenshot

Source: Babylon

  • Performance (⚙️7.5/10): Babylon is an older player in translation software. It offers translations in over 77 languages but can struggle with complex sentences.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8/10): Babylon works on desktop and with Office apps, translating directly in Word or Excel. There are occasional bugs, but updates help.

  • Innovation (💡7/10): Features include spell check, proofreading, and voice pronunciation, making it useful for learners.

  • Value for money (💰7.5/10): There's a free version, but the premium features might seem pricey when compared to other options.

10. IBM Language Translator

IBM software screenshot

Source: IBM

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): It's reliable with 68 languages and has customization options. Although it may have occasional issues with untranslated text.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7.5/10): Primarily a cloud service, it integrates with IBM Cloud services seamlessly, but might be less intuitive for non-IBM users.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): It offers neural machine translation, which learns from professional translations to improve over time.

  • Value for money (💰7/10): Pricing is based on the number of characters translated, which can be economical for short translations but costly for extensive documents.

11. iTranslate

iTranslate mobile screenshot

Source: iTranslate

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): As a versatile machine translation tool, iTranslate supports over 100 languages. Its translations are reliable too

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧9/10): iTranslate comes in both a web version and a mobile application for on-the-go translations. Notably, it has voice and camera translation features which can be particularly handy in real-life conversations.

  • Innovation (💡8.5/10): iTranslate’s Pro version offers an offline mode, website translation, and a verb conjugator.

  • Value for money (💰7.5/10): While there's a free version available, unlocking all of iTranslate's powerful features requires a Pro subscription. Still, given the expansive language support and additional tools, many find it well worth the investment.

12. Reverso

Reverso screenshot

Source: Reverso

  • Performance (⚙️8.5/10): Reverso excels in context-based translations. It can also capture idiomatic phrases with impressive accuracy.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧8/10): Accessible online, on desktop, and mobile.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): Along with translation, Reverso offers a dictionary, grammar check, and conjugation tool. Users can also listen to and rephrase translated sentences for varied outputs.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): Basic features are free, but premium plans unlock advanced functions and remove ads.

13. KantanMT

KantanMT Screenshot

Source: KantanMT

  • Performance (⚙️7/10): KantanMT offers quality translations across various domains. Its customizable nature allows users to fine-tune translation models for specific needs.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7/10): This tool integrates with third-party tools and supports various file formats. Extensive training and support help users optimize the tool's utility.

  • Innovation (💡6/10): The platform's customization options are its innovative feature, enabling users to build and deploy customized translation engines.

  • Value for money (💰6/10): While not the most budget-friendly option, KantanMT's customization makes it a worthwhile consideration for those with particular translation needs.

14. Text United

Text United

Source: G2

  • Performance (⚙️8.5/10): Text United provides reliable machine translation outputs that are good for quick drafts or understanding foreign content.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧9/10): With its cloud-based interface, users can access Text United from anywhere. Additionally, it offers overlay editors for website translations, making it easier to visualize the end result.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): Text United also offers a combination of human and machine translation services. Its platform supports translation memory and terminological consistency too.

  • Value for money (💰8/10): Text United is a cost-effective solution for companies that need both human and machine translations.

15. ModernMT

ModernMT Screenshot

Source: ModernMT

  • Performance (⚙️8/10): ModernMT provides adaptive machine translation, meaning it learns from corrections and can adapt to specific topics and styles. This gives it an edge in performance, especially after some use.

  • Compatibility and assistance (🔧7/10): ModernMT offers integration with popular CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools. Its API lets businesses integrate it into other platforms too.

  • Innovation (💡8/10): The adaptive learning technology is its standout feature. Unlike static machine translation systems, it adjusts and improves over time with user input, offering a more tailored translation experience.

  • Value for money (💰7/10): While ModernMT might be on the pricier side compared to basic MT tools, it might offer value for businesses looking for more accuracy and consistency.

To Sum Up

For companies looking to engage genuinely with customers in a fast and affordable way, choosing the correct machine translation service is essential. The true power of a translation tool, however, lies in its ability to persuasively communicate a brand's culture and values across international boundaries.

Therefore, it’s important that you take extra care in your selection. But, it's only the first step. The real magic happens when you manage it effectively. That's your second, pivotal move.

With Centus, you can easily incorporate machine translation into your operations, guaranteeing effective and transparent team communication, progress tracking, and payment calculation for human editors.

Want to improve your translation workflow? Take Centus for a spin!

FAQs

What are the 4 types of machine translation?

There are primarily four types of machine translation:

  • Rule-based Machine Translation (RBMT): Relies on linguistic rules and dictionaries.

  • Statistical Machine Translation (SMT): Based on statistical models and big data analysis.

  • Example-based Machine Translation (EBMT): Uses previously translated texts as the base.

  • Neural Machine Translation (NMT): Utilizes deep learning and artificial neural networks.

Which machine translation is the best?

The "best" machine translation engine varies depending on your needs. For general use, Google Translate and DeepL are often recognized for their accuracy and extensive language support. However, for specialized needs or business use, you might prefer more dedicated platforms like ModernMT or Amazon Translate.

What is a machine translation system?

A machine translation system is software designed to translate text or speech from one language to another. It utilizes algorithms, databases, and, in some cases, artificial intelligence, to provide translations without human intervention.

What are examples of machine translators?

Some popular machine translators include Google Translate, DeepL, Microsoft Translator, and Amazon Translate, among others.

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