Translation Tools Now and Then

Translation Tools Progress

The translation process is both technical and creative. The translator needs tools to concentrate on producing a high-quality translation that meets the client's satisfaction. 
The main purpose for Translation tools, software, and systems is to take care of all technical aspects that save translators time and reduce effort so that he can focus on the translation activity. 

Digital technology booming has cast a shadow over Translation Software solutions. A few years ago, translators used to edit software applications to write their translation. Nowadays, there are many translation tools. 

For website & software localization, the need for assistant tools became greater. These tools include: 

•    CAT tools 

•    Quality assurance checker

•    Translation Management systems 

•    Machine translation 
 

CAT tools 


Nowadays, most professional translators use Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools. CAT is a term refers to the software used by human translator during the translation process to improve productivity, save time, and raise efficiency.  

Examples of commonly used CAT tools: 

•    SDL Trados Studio 

•    SDL Passolo 

•    Kilgray memoQ 

•    Memsource 

•    XTM 

•    Alchemy Catalyst 

CAT tools are a wide range term that covers various tools, simple and complicated ones. Those tools include: 

•    Spell\Grammar checker, Autocorrect:  a feature may be embedded in either a Word Processing or in the software. 

•    In-context review: displays the document in real time in both source and target languages 

•    Text search: another great feature enables the translator to find a term or phrase into the text for reference. 

•    Terminology App: an application manages the terms appear in the document. Terminology database store the terms in both source and target. It gives the translator simple ways to find an accurate translation for the term, keep translation consistent, and save search time. 

•    Translation Memory: Application that stores the previously translated texts in both source and target languages. It retrieves related segments during the translation process. As for terminology App, it saves time and searches effort. Also, it increases productivity and consistency. 

•    Concordance: Show instances in which the word was previously translated into a text corpus such as Translation Memory. 

•     Alignment: in order to build a translation memory, alignment application divides both source and target text into segments, then determines which segments belong together. The connected text can be imported into a TM or can be used as a reference for future translation. 

•    Quality Assurance: Application that scans bilingual texts and detects mistakes in the target text (Translation) such as missing/wrong numbers, number formats, inconsistency, incorrect terminology, missing tags, and un-translated segments. It helps the editing process and makes sure that the final document is an error-free. That results in increasing the quality to meet the client's satisfaction.   

CAT tools can be available both offline and online. Online CAT tools can be a web-based tool works in both web browser and desktop.  Also, they support MS Office formats, as well as layout building software: InDesign, AutoCAD, etc.  

 

Management Tools 


For businesses that look forward to going global, the need arose for Translation Management System (TMS) to handle the complex translation tasks, to make the management between the team of LSPs and clients easier. TMS is to manage the workflow, translation memory, terminology, machine translation, and reporting. 

One of the main purposes of TMS is workflow management. It automates all the processes involved; documents management, communications between members, speed things up and make it highly efficient and reduce their costs. 

Also, TMS manages Translation Memory. The translation memory is the right choice to keep the consistency, be a reference for the translation team, save time, effort, and money.  

The idea of translation memory is not new; but in TMS, it is much better. TMS maintain the previously translation centrally and on the fly. Thus, the translation process became more streamlined than CAT tools. 

As in the case of Translation memory, TMS manages terminologies by maintaining the translation's terms to keep the consistency. 

Then, the Content Management System (CMS) comes next. The integration of CMS tools with TMS results in automatically grabbing new content and assigning it to your translation team. Thus, the multilingual audience will be up-to-date. Also, it reduces the cost and raises efficiency, and this the mission of the tools and the result of their development. 

Machine Translation 


A sub-field of computational linguistics investigates the use of software in translation from a language to another by a computer. With MT, you can increase your productivity and translate more content faster.  

There are various approaches used by MT: 

•    Rule-based: MT uses language and grammar rules combination. It depends on dictionaries for common words. To deliver consistent translation with accurate terminology; it uses the specific dictionary (Glossary) that related to the field of the document. 

•    Statistical system: instead of language and grammar rules, it learns the way of translation through large amount data analysis for each language pair. 

•    Neural Machine Translation: a new approach to teach the software the best way to produce the best result. This approach became popular among MTs and researches and it gives the best result in many language pairs in certain domains.  

The types of MT vary; there is a Generic MT such as Google Translate, and Bing. This type of MT provides translation service to millions of people. Also, companies can buy it and connect their systems with it for a pre-translation for example. 

Also, there is a customizable MT. it is a software can be trained to produce an accurate translation and improve accuracy in certain domains, such as Medical, Legal, IT, or even the company's preferred terms.   

In some level, MT cannot produce a high-quality translation that meets client satisfaction yet. It needs human editing (Post editing); the future trend of localization. This process is meant to take the machine's output to an accurate, high level.     

Despite modern technology, we experience in the translation field, there is a lot to offer in order to facilitate the process and produce a high-quality product. CMS, TMS, and MT are the future, but it still requires much improvement and development to meet the desired quality regarding the final product.  

In your opinion, what development can we see in the translation tools in the future?