Translation Technology Guide: CAT, MT, TMS

Translation

Adedamola Ojedokun

27 Dec 2023

8 min. read

Contents

What Is Translation Technology?

what is translation technology

Translation technologies are tools for the translation of written documents or spoken text. These tools are essential for both professional translators and organizations interested in expanding business internationally because they streamline the translation process, making it more accurate and cost-efficient.

Types of Modern Translation Technologies

Let’s take a look at the types of translation technologies that have revolutionized the traditional translation process.

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools

Imagine having your language sidekick – that is exactly what CAT tools are for human translators. These innovative tools are designed to assist translators rather than replace them.

They help human translators improve the translation process and increase efficiency.

How CAT tools assist human translators

These tools break down the source text into smaller segments, like phrases or paragraphs. Translators can then focus on translating one piece at a time, resulting in more consistent and accurate translations.

Also, CAT tools create a translation memory, which stores previously translated portions and enables translators to reuse them in subsequent tasks. This not only expedites the process but also ensures consistency between translations.

Machine translation (MT) software

Machine translation software is a translation technology that uses algorithms or even artificial intelligence to translate language pairs. MT algorithms evaluate massive amounts of multilingual data to understand patterns and linguistic nuances. The more data they analyze, the smarter they become.

Note: Although MT breaks down language barriers and provides quick and accessible translations, they are not without errors.

MT can produce translations that lack nuance, context, or cultural sensitivity at times, resulting in unintentionally hilarious (and occasionally embarrassing) results.

Translation management systems (TMS)

Translation management systems (TMS)is a comprehensive platform designed to automate the entire translation process, from project inception through project completion.

Benefits

TMS can help you effectively manage your translation workflows. They serve as a central hub for project managers, translators, and reviewers to easily collaborate.

TMS organizes all that is required for translation in one place, thereby keeping everyone on the same page.

Key features

The key features of a TMS include:

  • Project tracking

  • Task assignment

  • Glossary and style guide management

  • Quality assurance checks

  • File format support

How to Choose the Right Translation Technology

Choosing the right translation technology can make or break your global collaboration and expansion efforts. But with so many options available, how do you know you're getting the best fit?

Here are tips that can help you choose the right translation technology that best meets your needs:

Identify translation needs and requirements

Before choosing a translation technology, you need to first identify your specific translation needs and requirements. No two businesses are alike, and what works for one may not work for another.

Here’s how you can identify your audience’s translation needs and requirements:

Know your target languages

Identify the languages that you encounter regularly in your daily operations and client contacts.

Whether it's Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, or a mix of languages, knowing your target language can help you choose a translation technology that covers all the bases.

Content volume and diversity

Are you a company with a content volume and frequency rivaling that of BuzzFeed? Or maybe you have specific documents that require a nuanced touch?

Know the volume and diversity of content that you want to translate. Some companies translate technical documents, legal paperwork, or marketing materials.

Others may require translation of their website, mobile apps, or even user-generated material such as product evaluations and consumer feedback.

Matching your translation requirements to the appropriate technology will keep the process seamless and easy.

Human touch vs. automation

From fully automated translation to collaborative computer-assisted translation tools, translation technology provides a wide range of options.

Consider how much machine translation post-editing is required in the translation process. Do you need a quick and automatic way to translate large amounts of text with less attention to precision? Or do you want a hybrid method where human translators are aided by artificial tools to improve efficiency and quality?

Finding the right combination of human touch and automation will lead you to the ideal solution.

Learn more about the use of machine and human translation in this article.

Collaboration and workflow management

Is your translation process distributed across multiple translation teams, departments, or outsourced translators?

It is essential to effectively manage translation processes and ensure smooth collaboration. Consider whether you require a centralized system that can interface with your existing project management tools and enable real-time collaboration.

Assess the quality of machine translation engines

Assessing the quality of machine translation engines may seem challenging, but worry not. With our tips below and a pinch of luck, you’ll choose the best language translation technology around.

Accuracy

Look for machine translation engines that have been trained on large and diverse datasets and have a high level of accuracy. Watch out for customer evaluations and testimonials since word of mouth is still king in the world of translation.

Languages supported

Ensure that the translation technology you choose supports a wide range of languages. The more, the better! After all, the spice of life is language diversity, and you'll want your translations to be as spicy as possible.

Context

Translating word for word will not help. Everything depends on context. Look for a machine translation engine that understands the context of the material that you want to translate.

Customization

Your business is unique, and so are your translation requirements. Look for machine translation engines that allow you to customize the translation output based on your preferences. This allows you to adapt the translations to match your brand's tone.

Consider security and data privacy measures

When it comes to choosing the right machine translation technology for your business, you cannot afford to ignore the critical aspects of security and data privacy. After all, you wouldn't want your essential information to end up as badly translated texts.

So, let's explore how you can use security and data privacy measures to choose the right tech-enabled translation solutions.

Data protection

To keep your data safe from prying eyes, look for solutions that use encryption methods.

End-to-end encryption ensures that your sensitive data is scrambled into a secret code as it moves from one point to another, making it nearly impossible for intruders to decipher.

Data storage and handling

Ensure that the language translation technology you choose uses secure data storage methods.

Whether you choose secure cloud servers or cutting-edge on-premises storage solutions, the idea is to keep your secret information safe, like priceless diamonds in a securely guarded vault.

User access control

Look for technologies that offer granular user access control, thereby allowing you to assign different levels of privileges to your translation team. This ensures that only authorized staff have access to and work on sensitive translation projects.

Evaluate user-friendliness and ease of integration

When looking for the right translation technology, one critical factor to consider is its user-friendliness and ease of integration. After all, what good is a great product if it is difficult to use or integrate into your present workflow?

Here’s why you need to consider a translation technology that is user-friendly and integrates easily with other translation technologies:

User-friendly

Imagine this: You have this fantastic translation tool with all the bells and whistles, but the interface looks like it was designed in the 1990s. By government employees.

Yikes!

A user-friendly translation interface is like a breath of fresh air. It should be simple to use, visually appealing, and easy to explore. Whether you're a tech-savvy language specialist or a beginner, a user-friendly interface may make your translation tasks easier.

Easy to understand

Let's be honest: As a busy professional, you don't have time to waste figuring out complex technologies. A quick learning curve is a must in machine translation technology.

You should be up and running in no time, translating like a polyglot superhero. So, look for an automated system that doesn't require substantial training or coding expertise to get started.

Easy integration

You already use numerous software and technologies to streamline your business operations. The last thing you need is translation technology that will not integrate with your existing tools.

Look for solutions that integrate seamlessly with the applications you already use. Whether you use content management systems (CMS) or a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, the integration should be hassle-free.

Customer support and post-translation services

Picture this: You've invested in a great translation tool, and everything is going smoothly until you hit a bump in the road. Your translated text suddenly looks as though a tornado tore its layout apart.

Panic mode is activated!

But don't worry; this is where reliable customer service comes in.

Here’s what to look for when assessing the customer support and post-translation services of your vendor:

Always-on support

When navigating the enormous terrain of global languages, you need a translation technology partner with 24-hour support.

Whether you're in New York, London, or Tokyo, a support team should always be available to deal with your linguistic challenges.

Swift and knowledgeable response

Look for a translation technology that has a team of language experts who understand their tool. A prompt and qualified response can save you time and stress.

Training and resources

Even the most user-friendly translation system may have a learning curve. This is where thorough training and resources come in.

Tutorials, webinars, and how-to guides may provide you and your team with the knowledge and skills required to become translation experts.

Quality assurance

A reliable language translation technology provider will have a quality assurance mechanism that will ensure the accuracy, consistency, and cultural appropriateness of all your translated content.

To Sum Up

Translation technology has evolved to become essential for bridging linguistic gaps and connecting people and organizations.

Using the appropriate combination of CAT tools, machine translation, and TMS can open up a world of opportunities, thereby allowing organizations to succeed in the global economy.

Translation technology, like Centus, can help improve translation accuracy and effectiveness by providing translators with access to a wealth of data and resources like translation memories, terminology databases, and cultural guides. Learn more.

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