** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in December 2021. **
How often do you try out new translation tools?
Translation and localization tools can help us to translate faster and better. The good ones can, anyway!
It’s easy to fall into a rut and use the same old tools when providing your translation services, just because you know them well. However, newer translation tools could actually help you to shorten delivery times and enhance the quality of your translations.
So, is it worth you investing a little time in refreshing your translation and localization tool arsenal every once in a while? We think so!
With that in mind, here are 10 of our favourite translation and localization tools for professional translators, all of which have been tried and tested by Tomedes’ translators around the world.
Want to know the entire gist but in a hurry? Luckily for you, here’s a handy video that sums this article up.
Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are probably the most commonly used translation tools. Do you use these to help fine-tune your expertise and tailor your work to your clients’ needs?
For those who are new to CAT tools, their purpose is to reduce the time it takes to translate a document. They do this by organizing the text into smaller, translatable segments, which can be recalled later on during the translation process, thanks to the CAT tool’s translation memory.
Here are some of our top CAT tools. Which ones have you tried?
memoQ’s translator pro delivers a computer-assisted translation environment for individual translators. It runs on Microsoft Windows and promises to increase “productivity and quality for all those who perform, edit and review translations.”
This is quite a lofty goal but one that many of those who use memoQ would quickly confirm that it achieves. Are you one of them or are you yet to discover this superb CAT tool?
memoQ allows you to create a glossary with terms and reuse previous translations. You can also add reference materials and get suggestions from other resources while you type, as well as using its predictive text functionality.
This CAT tool has a great translation memory. It preserves context information in both language directions for super-accurate searching. Not only that, but memoQ is one of the easiest and most reliable translation tools that we’ve come across.
SDL Trados Studio
This industry stalwart is used by translators and localization experts around the world to help them translate faster and reduce admin while ensuring consistency in the quality of their work.
SDL Trados Studio pre-translates from a translation memory in order to allow translators to work at up to twice their usual speed. As with all CAT tools, how well-stocked the translation memory is will impact this speed, as will the relative similarities (or differences) between new translation materials and the translation memory.
More than 250,000 translation professionals use SDL Trados Studio to pick up the pace of their projects. Are you one of them or are you yet to try it out for yourself?
This is a localization platform with a truly global outlook. The cloud-based system provides access to a global content repository. Its beauty is its agility – everyone from product and localization managers to marketers and developers can benefit from using Transifex.
For localization managers, it provides the ability to manager localization in one place. For product managers, it allows the oversight of projects and collaboration with translators. Marketers can use it to build personalized multilingual experiences, while developers are able to automate the entire localization process.
This is a versatile platform that suits a wide range of uses. Do you have a website, mobile app, desktop app or subtitle job coming up? If so, this might well be a tool worth checking out before you start.
Another excellent translation and localization platform, Smartling supports you to translate content faster through efficient automation and management. The system continuously indexes hundreds of data points as you translate, turning it into a more and more useful resource over time (as is the case with many CAT tools).
What we particularly like about Smartling is the way that it makes localization less time-consuming through the connection of your CMS, code repository and marketing automation tools. Have you tried it out yet?
Designed to allow teams to collaborate with ease, Crowdin is a cloud-based solution that streamlines the process of localization. If you’re providing professional translation and localizing content as part of a large project, this is a great way to stay connected and benefit from the platform’s automated features as you translate.
Do you translate apps and sites with gettext? If so, it’s time to take a look at Poedit. Billed as the fastest and most convenient means of handing translation using gettext (PO), this nifty solution provides a translations editor that is at once powerful and intuitive. The interface is easy to use and lightweight, with a host of smart features such as pre-translation.
The result? Less of your time wasted on mundane tasks and more time available to spend working on producing the best possible translations. Poedit even validates your translation files and checks your progress.
If you’re working with PHP projects (Drupal, WordPress), Python projects (Django) or pretty much anything running on Linux, why not give Poedit a try?
If you work on WordPress site translations regularly, it’s definitely worth giving the WPML plug-in some attention. This powerful translation management tool allows you to work on the various elements of WordPress sites with ease, speeding up the translation process and providing some handy dashboard features that let you review the progress of the translation. The interface is clean and simple, making this an enjoyable tool to use when you translate a WordPress website.
If you translate technical, medical or policy documents, MadCap Flare could be just the tool you’ve been searching for! This professional content editing tool supports working with a range of file types, from Word documents and PDFs to HTML5 and .NET files.
MadCap Flare comes with a patented XML editor, single-sourcing and integrated cloud-based editing, multi-channel publishing and project and content management. Even if you don’t use all of its functions, it can still do much to enhance your efficiency!
If you need to double check the meaning of a word or phrase, look no further than Linguee. This handy site allows you to search 1,000,000,000 translations to check expressions and individual words.
However, there’s more to Linguee than your average multilingual dictionary. This site also allows you to check for context. It searches its own data banks and the wider web for translated documents that relate to the word of phrase you are querying. This allows you to see how others have translated it. It even works neatly with Google images, to provide visual contributions as well. Who could ask for more?
Microsoft Language Portal
If you’re working on IT and technology translations, the Microsoft Language Portal can quickly become your virtual friend in need! You can search for a vast range of sector-related terminology, as well as downloading Microsoft user interface translations and style guides for numerous languages.
Users can also access terminology, definitions and user interface strings through Microsoft’s Terminology Service API, making this the ideal resource for anyone working on tech sector translations.
For this best translation tools update, I wanted to focus specifically on some of the best translation software that you can get for free – or at least try out for free, to ensure you like it before you commit to buy.
The translation tools listed above are all superb, but what else is on the market? Let’s take a look and see what might help you translate faster and more effectively in 2022.
If you’ve got a big translation and localization project coming up, Lokalise can help you ensure it runs smoothly. This translating tool is ideal for agile teams looking to embrace automation and workflow transparency in order to deliver projects faster. You can try it for free for 14 days.
Of course, finding the best translation tool isn’t all about fancy translation programs. The best free online translator tool could, in fact, simply be a reliable dictionary.
This is where The Free Dictionary by Farlex comes in. Not only does it feature a wide range of languages, it provides a thesaurus, an encyclopaedia, advice on English grammar, acronym and idiom sections and medical, legal and financial dictionaries.
As if that weren’t enough, The Free Dictionary also provides a customisable homepage, meaning you can focus the site around the content you need the most. What a handy translation tool feature.
Translation can be a lonely career at times, but with ProZ there’s always someone on hand to talk shop with. While not a free translation tool as such, we think it warrants a place in this roundup as a resource that can be of value to translators across the globe. You can ask questions, collaborate with other translators, participate in lively forum discussions and more.
One of the best translator software options for content creators and developers, as well as translators, is Zanata. Being web based, the platform means you can undertake software translation and translate numerous types of content with ease, all from your web browser. There’s a translation memory, the option to see contributions from other translators and chat functionality for projects involving multiple linguists. Simple to use, this is a great online translation program for 2022.
Free for freelance tranlsators, Smartcat provides computer-aided translation software that can help you work faster and smarter. Its tools for translation success include real-time collaboration with translators and other contributors and the ability to create glossaries of terms in order to achieve consistent translations. The software supports multilingual translation memories too, which is a nice touch.
You can trial Wordfast Pro for free for a full 30 days, to decide whether you think it’s the best translation program for you. It provides standalone, platform-independent translation memory tools, along with a host of resources that are useful for individual translators and use by language service providers.
A handy part of any translator’s arsenal of free translation tools, Magic Search is a multilingual search engine that scours multiple dictionaries in a quest to find the perfect translation. You can choose which dictionaries and other resources it searches, to ensure that it is customised to your particular translation needs.
Another translation resource with the human touch included, Translators Café is a community of online translators who want to connect for advice and to look for work. This is a great place to network and pick up new clients, so is well worth a
visit for anyone looking to up their translation game in 2022.
The final in our list of the best translation tools online is OmegaT. This open-source translation memory tool is available for free. It’s packed with features, including Unicode (UTF-8) support and a built-in spell checker. You can use it alongside other translation tools with ease.
If you want to make the most of your expertise and deliver translations faster, there is a wealth of resources out there to help you. Why not try out some of the above and let us know how you get on?
You can also use the comment section below to recommend other tools that you find useful when you translate, to help out your fellow translation professionals.