TRANSLATION TOOLS EXPLAINED
Translation Management Systems (TMS) are the tools language service providers use to manage all of their operations and resources. They provide an overview of all planned and current projects.
Computer Aided Translation software (CAT software) is where translation takes place. In the simplest terms, the software divides text into segments (e.g. sentences or paragraphs) and provides the translator with:
- A single paragraph to translate (in context)
- A suggested translation from translation memory (based on previous translations, optional)
- A suggested machine translation (based on a plug-in, optional)
- Adequate glossary terms (if glossary provided, optional)
- Space for the translation.
CAT software also offers functionalities such as remote collaboration, spellcheck and a number of other useful tools (there are too many to be listed in detail here!).
All of these elements allow for enhanced quality and consistency, and enable us to leverage previously completed translations to improve cost and time efficiency.
Quality Assurance software (QA software) facilitates the QA processes for editors, proofreaders, and project managers. It helps with linguistic and technical verification.
Spellcheck and identifying typing errors in numbers are only the basics. QA software can also crosscheck a translation with glossaries, or check if all identical segments in a source have identical translations – a huge support for consistency purposes. There are many different settings to choose from. The software usually presents a long list of errors, which are then qualified as positive (and corrected) or false-positive.
Technical QA is just as important. Among the many uses of technical QA, the tools can identify any unplanned changes to the structure of content, formatting etc.
Translation memory is a translator’s external memory. The software can identify repetitions and suggest previous translations. It facilitates creating and using client’s glossaries, for instance particular terminology or key phrases. Most importantly, the introduction of translation memory has made translation faster and allowed for significant economies of scale in translation.
Plugins enhance translation and publishing software to cater for a variety of needs. At locatheart, we work with several types of plugins, some for internal use and others located on the client side, e.g.
- Machine translation plugins in CAT software
- CMS plugins allowing for effective import and export of content as well as content updates
- CMS plugins allowing for the implementation of multiple language versions.
If you’re not interested in detailed descriptions of translation processes you might want to skip this part and head straight to Segment 2: Types of Translation or Segment 3: Translation Price and Performance, where you will learn about economies of scale in translation, translation KPIs and more.