The year is 2020 and we have translation software’s being introduced into the market and many of them. So, how do you decide a particular software is the best for you? There are specific features that must be available to make your translation software 100% effective. In this article, we look at some features that you need to look out for in translation software before you decide to use them for your translations.
1. Translation Editing Tools
Another feature that is of most importance when getting translation software, is the translation editing tools. Normally software translations are not accurate and for you to make them accurate, you need to edit them and work on them by yourself. Being able to edit your translation is a vital part of translation but only if you are looking for incredibly accurate translations for your documents. If accuracy is not what you are looking for, then you can forgo this feature. Also, depending on the technicality of the texts you are translating, the more technical they are the more you will need an editing tool so that you can proofread and edit the original draft.
2. File Translation Tool
One thing you need to know is that you will meet different file formats that will need to be translated in your line of work. This doesn’t happen often but you will always work with different file formats and get software that is compatible with all the file formats you translate. There is nothing as bad as investing in expensive software then it ends up not being useful to you. Depending on what file formats you constantly work with, get a translation software that supports those file formats.
3. Copy & Paste Translation
Any kind of work that you need to work with documents needs a copy and paste feature, in translation works, you need a software that has a copy and paste translation feature. There are times where translators work on files that don’t really need any copy and pasting. There are also instances where they have to work on translations for specific parts of a document. This might be an email, instant message or a paragraph on a text from a website or any digital platform. This is where the copy and paste feature comes in handy. You need to copy and paste the extract so that you can work on it individually instead of having to rewrite it before you translate it. This feature saves translators a lot of time and it is very effective.
4. Translation Memory
A software that has a translation memory feature is one that is absolutely a game-changer for anyone who uses it. This is a feature that learns the words, statements, and vocabulary that is frequently used for your translations. This means that every single time you use the software for your translation works, the translation memory works on the background by suggesting different terms that would best suit the documents you are working on and also auto-corrects if you end up using a term that is not contextual. It automatically stores your translations as segments in a bilingual repository which then helps you in any future translations. This means that you won’t have to translate a particular word twice as long as the language pair is the same as your previous translations of the same word. This feature is important for service providers who do translations for industries that have a particular jargon. This might be Medical, Legal, Finance, and any other technical industry translation.
5. Ample Language Pairs
Compatibility with language pairs is one of the features that you should always look out for every time you decide to get into the market for a translation software. When we talk about language pairs, we mean the two languages that translators work with when doing translations. They can also be referred to as source language and target language. A source language is a language you translating from while a target language is a language you are translating to. You should always have a general idea of what language pairs you will be working with and then get software that is compatible with those language pairs. A good example would be if your pair languages are French, English, and Spanish, get a software that is compatible with all the languages. It is very easy to get software that says it can translate French to English but it wouldn’t translate French to Spanish.
Translation is writing and when using software, it is very easy to come across texts that will need to be spell checked and proofread for corrections. Spellcheck should be a standard feature in any translation software. I believe for software to at least have a certain level of accuracy on the first draft spellchecker has to be in place. This will also save you a lot of time that you would have used going through the texts to ensure all the words are correctly spelled, then you just deal with the accuracy of the translations and grammatical errors.
7. Translation Collaboration
When getting a translation software for professional use, it is important to get one that has the collaboration feature. This means that the software should be in a position where it supports team collaboration. Normally in a professional setup, translations are done by several translators so that a project can be completed in the shortest time possible. Bilingual employees are often used to produce translations in global organizations. This means that you must be able to share translations and request editing from within the app interface. Be sure to get software that supports this, it makes work really efficient for translators.
8. Automatic File Formatting
Just like how I mentioned in the point above that getting software that is compatible with different files is important, getting one with an automatic file formatting program is also important. In 2020, many people are translating digital files, and getting software that can automatically help in formatting the translated files for you is such a breath of fresh air. This means that the software will encode your image placements, font properties, spacing, and paragraphs breaks and make sure it keeps the original file’s properties. This is an amazing feature because it saves you so much time that you would use formatting your files by yourself.
9. Translation Tracking
In the point above we have mentioned that a collaboration feature is of great importance for professional translations. This should also be backed up by a tracking feature. When working on different translations with a couple of other translators, one should be able to track how far the other has gone and so on. The tracking feature makes this bearable and worthwhile. You won’t have to deal with constant calling and texting to enquire where a translator has reached and vice versa. With this you also able to view the edited segments and any form of action taken on a particular translation project.
10. Live Human Support
Any translation that doesn’t offer live human support is one that I wouldn’t advise anyone to use. Live human support is of absolute importance because from time to time you will need it and it should be at your request. The software should be able to make work way easier and efficient for you and without live human support, that will be hard. These translation software’s are usually really expensive and if you must use so much to get access to them the least the software provider should do is make live human support available. Technical help from time to time will really come in handy and that is exactly what live human support guarantees.
Have you ever wondered why there is usually a clause for terms and conditions whenever you deal with any digital products? This is to ensure that the company provider doesn’t reserve the right to use your data in ways that your company disapproves of. Therefore, getting software that is confidential is very important. It ensures that the confidentiality of your data is ensured and not compromised through sharing, indexing, or publishing.
12. Robust API Access
We are living at a time where companies love to integrate their software systems with each other so that they can work efficiently to their benefit. If your company falls under this category, having robust API access for your software is really important. Before you decide to get a professional translation software, be sure that it gives an option of accessing its API and also allows you to make API calls.
Security is a key thing in software, not only translation software but all software. A great software is one that comes with a high standard of security which ensures that anything you use the software for is protected. It is important to know that any company that uploads its data into any software is at risk of a data breach. Be sure that your software has two-step authentication, encrypted file storage, SSL certification, and PCI-compliant payment processing.
13. Voice-Over Translation
A translation software that can do a text to speech translation is one that is of absolute importance. This kind of software comes in handy where you want your texts to be translated into speech in order to serve different purposes for your organization. Many people say that it is easy to grasp something when you can hear it, than when you read it. This means that you will get your texts in audio format which further means that you save your money seeing that you won’t have to hire a voice talent to offer you voice-over services. If having your files in an audio format is something that is important then getting software that supports this should be key.
14. Compliance with Specific Mandates
Depending on what industry your line of work is, ensure to get software that complies with the specific mandates and laws of that industry. This may include GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), or SOX (Sarbanes Oxley). Ensuring that this is available is of great importance so that you can ensure that your documents will follow all the rules and mandates.
You are now in a position to find great translation software for your business while putting all this information into consideration, It will definitely come in handy in helping you get great software.