What Is a Translation Management System and How to Choose the Best One?
A made-up fact:
Thou shalt translate was one of the 10 commandments.
But it got lost in translation.
A real, concrete fact:
To avoid translation mistakes, use a translation management system.
“What is a translation management system?” you ask.
We rush to answer. Answer diligently, with examples and tips, over the span of this 10-minute-long article.
Read on to learn:
Pro tip: Save time and money, improve translation quality, and enter new markets effortlessly with a localization management suite – Centus. Learn more.
Translation management system (TMS) is a software solution for automating and simplifying the translation process.
A TMS functions as a centralized platform for the full translation workflow, from content preparation to translation, review, and final delivery.
The main components of a TMS include:
Translation memory (TM): A database that stores previously translated segments of content. When similar content appears, the TMS can use the TM to suggest or apply previous translations, thereby maintaining consistency and saving time.
Glossary management: A glossary is a collection of industry-specific or company-specific terminologies and translations. It helps translators maintain consistency and accuracy throughout the translated content.
Collaboration tools: These tools allow multiple translators, editors, and project managers to collaborate in real time, making the translation process more efficient and collaborative.
Quality assurance (QA) checks: Pre-built QA checks and validation tools enable translators to spot any problems or inconsistencies in translated content before final delivery.
Translation cost calculation: This influences different aspects of project planning, execution, and decision-making. The component also enhances efficient resource allocation, vendor selection, budget management, and overall process optimization within translation workflows.
There are two types of translation management systems: cloud and on-premise.
A cloud-based translation management system is a software application that is hosted in the cloud and can be accessed through a web browser.
Unlike traditional translation management software, cloud-based TMS can be accessed by your translators, editors, and managers regardless of where they are.
Due to convenience and cost-effectiveness, most SMBs and enterprises opt for cloud-based TM systems.
Here’s an overview of how a cloud-based TMS works:
1.The user uploads the content to the TMS.
2.The TMS finds matches with previously translated terms and phrases.
3.The user hires translators and shares with them the TMS access details.
4.The translators use the TMS to translate only the original content, skipping previously translated terms and phrases. New translations are added to the TMS translation memory for future use. It allows for substantially reducing translation costs.
5.With the help of the TMS, the user conducts quality assurance and requests revisions.
6.The TMS calculates the exact translation cost, excluding previously translated content. The TMS can also calculate pay rates for editors, proofreaders, and post-editors.
Pro tip: Looking for the best translation management system? Look no further than Centus. Using it, you can streamline your translation workflows, saving time and money. Learn more.
Advantages of cloud-based translation management system
There are many benefits of using a cloud-based translation management system for your translation tasks. These include:
Scalability and flexibility
Cloud-based TMS allows you to scale resources up or down depending on your translation needs. This versatility is useful if you have fluctuating translation needs or if your business is undergoing rapid growth.
Cloud-based TMS may be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, thereby allowing multinational teams to successfully collaborate. As a result, translators, project managers, and clients may contribute and review translations in real time.
Businesses that use a cloud-based TMS can avoid the costs of maintaining on-premise servers and software. Furthermore, the pay-as-you-go pricing model allows you to pay only for the resources you use, resulting in substantial cost savings.
Automatic software updates
Cloud-based TMS providers handle frequent software updates and maintenance tasks. This ensures that you always have effortless access to the most recent features and improvements.
So you have a great brand and a product or service that is making waves in your local market. Congratulations! But let us take a step back and consider the big picture.
Here are reasons why your brand needs a translation management system:
Expanding global market reach
You may have noticed that your product has already gained some international attention. People from other countries are flocking to your website and social media, or even placing orders.
This is a strong indication that your services are in high demand beyond your borders.
A translation management system allows you to capitalize on global interest by simplifying the translation process and lowering its cost.
By having your website available in Spanish, French, Chinese, and other languages, you can enter new markets, expand your consumer base, and supercharge sales.
Ensuring consistent and accurate translations
You might be thinking: "We can just use online translation tools for that, right?" Not so fast!
While online translation tools can be used for a single word or phrase, they won’t work for your brand as a whole.
To centralize all your translation efforts, ensuring consistent brand voice, style, and messaging across multiple languages and regions, use a TMS.
It can also help avoid embarrassing and reputation-damaging translation errors.
Streamlining translation processes for efficiency
Time is money, and manual translation processes can take an eternity.
Managing numerous versions of translated content, collaborating with different language service providers, tracking translation progress, and managing several versions of translated content can become a logistical nightmare.
But don't worry! Translation management systems automate the entire translation workflow, making it simple to manage translation projects from beginning to end.
You may assign localization projects, track progress, and work with translators and reviewers within the same platform. The goal is to be as efficient as possible.
Maintaining brand reputation and cultural sensitivity
Your brand has worked hard to build a solid reputation in its local market. You don't want to compromise it by offending customers from another culture due to a lack of cultural sensitivity in your translations.
Here is where a translation management platform comes in. With a TMS, you can use features like translation memories and glossaries to ensure that you consistently use industry-specific terms, brand-specific language, and culturally relevant expressions.
This will demonstrate to your international customers that you respect and value their culture, thereby increasing their chances of embracing your brand.
Managing translations effectively is essential for reaching global audiences and ensuring your brand's message is understood across borders.
In this aspect, a TMS can be a game changer, providing you with the tools and framework you need to build effective translation workflows.
Here’s how you can harness the power of TMS to create effective translation workflows:
Prepare your content for translation
Prepare your content for the translation task ahead to ensure effective translations. Ensure you have everything you need, much like when packing for a vacation.
Content analysis and evaluation
Analyze your content to understand its scope, complexity, and subject matter. Doing so will help you identify potential issues, such as technical terminology or cultural references. This allows you to plan ahead of time.
Knowing what content requires translation allows you to manage resources more efficiently and avoid last-minute surprises.
Identify target audiences and local requirements
Research your target audiences and their cultural backgrounds to offer translations that are meaningful to them. Understanding local needs and sensitivities means that your translations are not only accurate but also culturally relevant.
Translation does not have to be a solo task. It can also be a fun collaborative effort. You can use a TMS to develop a vibrant translation team that collaborates seamlessly.
Team communication and collaboration tools
Use the TMS's communication and collaboration tools to bring your translation team together. Real-time chat rooms, comment features, and shared workspaces foster a vibrant, collaborative environment for translators, editors, and reviewers.
The lively exchange of ideas and comments stimulates innovation and produces the highest-quality final translations.
Using translation memories and glossaries
Translation memories save previously translated segments for reuse in similar contexts. This improves uniformity while also speeding up the translation process.
Glossaries, including crucial terms and brand-specific language, in addition to translation memories, help maintain a consistent tone and style throughout the translation process.
Conduct quality assurance and review
Every great task requires quality assurance to ensure you're on the right track. This rings especially true for translation.
Implementing review cycles and feedback loops
Embark on a feedback hunt! Include review cycles in your translation workflow to gather feedback from stakeholders, subject matter experts, and, if possible, end users.
This collaborative approach ensures that translations are consistent with the voice, message, and expectations of your business.
Feedback loops provide crucial information for improvement and enhance the growth of your translation process.
Automated QA checks and linguistic validation
Automated QA checks within the TMS can detect errors and inconsistencies, saving your team time and effort. These tests provide excellent translations by checking everything from grammar and punctuation to formatting and placeholders.
Furthermore, linguistic evaluation by native speakers guarantees that the translations are not only accurate but also culturally appropriate for the target audience.
Deliver translated content
Congratulations! You've completed the translation journey, and now it's time to share your achievements with the rest of the world.
Integrating TMS with content management system (CMS)
Integrate your TMS with your CMS to easily publish translated content. No more laborious copy-pasting.A dynamic TMS-CMS duo handles everything.
The integration allows you to effortlessly manage multilingual content, offering a uniform and streamlined experience for your international audience.
Handling file formats and deliverables
Check that your TMS supports different file formats and delivers translations in the formats you require. A TMS can manage everything, whether it's documents, webpages, or multimedia.
This flexibility ensures that you can reach your audience across multiple platforms without sacrificing the quality of your translated content.
Choosing the right translation management system is essential for any brand seeking to grow its international reach while maintaining consistent, accurate, and culturally sensitive translations.
Due to the numerous options available, it may be difficult to find the perfect fit. Therefore, we’ve compiled tips that can help you choose the right TMS:
Consider scalability and future growth
You're not just in it for the short-term, right? Your brand is bound for greatness, and you require a TMS that can keep up.
Pro tip: Choose a scalable TMS that can accommodate increasing content volumes as well as additional languages and locales.
User-friendly interface and ease of implementation
Let's be honest: You don't want a complicated TMS that requires a rocket science degree to operate. Look for a platform with an easy-to-use interface and simple navigation.
Pro tip: Take advantage of free trials to understand how the TMS works before you make a choice.
Integration capabilities with other tools and systems
Chances are, you already use multiple systems, tools, or (if you operate at the bleeding edge of tech) even cat meme generators. So, why not look for a TMS that works well with them?
Seamless integration brings about smoother workflows and happier teams.
Pro tip: Look for a TMS that integrates seamlessly with content management systems, project management tools, design software, and code repositories.
Security, privacy, and compliance features
Confidentiality is essential when it comes to translations. Check that the TMS you choose has strong security measures in place and conforms to applicable data protection legislation. Nothing less is acceptable for your sensitive information.
Pro tip: Look for a TMS with file encryption, SSL certification, and multifactor authentication.
Customer support and training resources
We all need a little help from time to time, and choosing a TMS is no exception. A reliable customer service team can save you from future translation issues.
Furthermore, having access to training resources can help your staff get the most out of the TMS.
Pro tip: To assess the quality of the TMS provider's customer service, read reviews and contact the support team during your trial period.
A localization management suite, Centus, meets all of these requirements and then some. Use it to streamline your translation process and its cost. Learn more.
To Sum Up
Using a translation management system can help you achieve your global ambitions. After all, translation is not just about words. By properly performing it, you are engaging with global audiences, breaking barriers, and creating meaningful experiences.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose your ideal TMS and watch your brand enter new markets seamlessly.
What does a translation management system do?
A translation management system automates different translation tasks, including:
Uploading and storing content
What are the benefits of a translation management system?
Translation management system offers several benefits for businesses that need to translate their content into various languages. These include:
Improved customer satisfaction
What are the different features of a TMS?
The different TMS features are e:
Machine translation tools
How do I get started with TMS?
Here’s how to get started with a TMS:
Choose a TMS that suits your business
Set up your TMS and start importing content
Create projects and assign tasks to translators
Track the status of your projects and manage your budgets
Review and approve the translations
What are the best practices for using a TMS?
The best practices for using a TMS include the following:
Use terminology management and translation memory
Set clear deadlines and interact with translators
Use the TMS’s reporting features
Use the TMS’s quality assurance tools