Without the assistance of translations tools and software, the translation process can be longer, requiring patience, reference to various materials and access to subject matter experts. Your business can benefit in numerous ways when making use of a translations tool to aid the translation of various documents and materials and even live speech.
The main benefits of translations tools include improved accuracy, efficiency, and quality assurance during the translations process. Translations tools are essential elements of any professional translator’s toolkit.
In this article, we outline what a client should look for in an agency’s translations toolkit, to ensure they use all the resources they need to create exceptional translations and drive the best value.
Why do translators use computer-assisted translation tools?
When you hear the words computer-assisted translation (CAT), your mind might think of automatic machine translation tools such as Google Translate. The difference between CAT and machine translation is that CAT tools are not used to automatically translate text between languages. Instead, translators use them to support the translations process.
CAT tools ease the task of a translator by providing various functions which can be called upon to aid a translation process. One of the most central features translators will use during a new project is translation memory. Translation memory stores sentences and paragraphs that have previously been successfully translated, so they can be reused or adapted by a translator.
This speeds up the process of a new translation, as there is no need to search a translator’s memory or turn too frequently to a dictionary or thesaurus when translating a new text.
When a translator comes across a word which they are in two minds about how to translate, translation memory can help. By analysing the internet for translations, it can identify the common practice when it comes to translating certain words. In using a translation tool with translation memory, a translator can be confident in their word choices, as they are backed up by others in the industry.
A translations tool can also suggest common idioms, acronyms and quotes in the language the translator is using. Translation tools can also be used for proofreading, offering quality assurance to professional translators and businesses using the tools.
What are the benefits of translation memory tools?
- Ensures consistency across all translations
- Reduces costs
- Most CAT tools have built-in quality assurance features
- Content can be stored to build a translation memory (TM)
- Reduces turnaround times
- Project management simplicity
- CAT tools can handle a variety of source files
How to choose a translations tool
If you’re looking to choose a tool (or an agency that uses them), it’s worth assessing your business case for using one to support your translation efforts. By understanding what you will use the tool for, your business will be able to more easily identify the features that you will use on every project and which will be nice to have but not essential to your projects.
You will need to consider the number of languages you will be translating for, and which tools are best set up to help you achieve your goals.
Perhaps you are looking for tools that can help with text translation, or maybe you need speech translation tools? Live translation and interpreting tools can help with the live translation of meetings, conferences and phone or video conversations.
Before choosing a translations tool, ensure it has the features you need.
Some features to consider:
- Online platform
- Mobile platform/apps
- Spelling and grammar checker
- Translation memory
- Dictionary and thesaurus tools
What are the benefits of partnering with a translation agency?
Whether you have an in-house language resource and you’re expanding to new regions and need support, or you don’t have any foreign language expertise in your organisation, a language translations partner can guide your translations project.
We have access to the latest translation tools and our translations memory database is vast, we’ve translated well over 73 million words over the last 19 years, so there’s very little we haven’t seen or done!
We recently questioned whether translation memory could be coming to an end. The reason for this is adaptive trained neural machine translation (ATNMT), a relatively recent technology which partners machine learning tools with human translators, has been delivering more accurate results than translation memory tools.
However, translation memory still has plenty to offer translators, we still use translation memory tools alongside ATNMT. Translation memory tools can be supported by rigorous human editing, whereas the use of ATNMT requires typically only a light touch from an editor. Depending on the scope of the project, translation memory tools are still an essential tool in the translators kit bag.
As you can see, we are on the very cutting edge of the translations sector. Partnering with a translations agency such as Bubbles gives you access to translators and project managers who understand best practices across the industry. We always have one eye firmly on future developments and how new technologies can improve the accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness of translation.
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