BUT…it doesn’t have to be that way! Translation professionals are constantly looking at new ways to innovate and make the most of the latest technology out there, so we’d just like to go through some of them with you so that translation will be a word you’ll start loving 🙂
First things first, let’s start with CAT (computer assisted translation) tools. If you’re not completely new to translation, these are something you are bound to have heard of and are the best place to start if you’re looking into translation technology. CAT tools DO NOT replace human translators, they are there to help them.
They’ll remember specific phrases a translator has translated so that if they happen to reappear later in the text (or in another text), the translator won’t have to translate them again, they’ll just check what they did before and make sure it fits. If sentences partly match (e.g. I have a blue dog vs. I have a red dog), the CAT tool will suggest a translation based on the previous translation of “I have a blue dog”, so that the translator only has to translate the word “red”.
CAT tools also play a part in terminology and ensure complete consistency in the translation thanks to rigorous quality checks that can be performed within the tool. The best thing about them is that you’ll get discounts for these repeated phrases, so the more you translate, the more you save!
Some of the main CAT tools include SDL Trados, MemoQ, Across and Phrase, so you have lots of options out there and can choose a CAT tool right for your business.
If you’re used to translating content from your CMS, you’ll be pleased to hear that manually importing and exporting data is now a thing of the past! Thanks to special CMS connectors, you can now integrate your CMS and your CAT tool, so that with a single click of a button you can export all your data and have it sent to your translators. Once they’ve done the translation, it will be automatically imported back into your CMS. To make it even better, it’s actually possible to set everything up so that when there’s new data in your CMS, it can be sent to your translators and then imported back without you having to do anything.
Technology is getting so advanced that there are ways to automate almost all of your translation process if you’d like to do so. Your CAT tools, TMS (translation management system), and other software (e.g for invoicing) can all be integrated so that you don’t have to manually transfer data between them.
You can also automate things like quoting, by making the most of automation widgets that some of the CAT tools now offer. They allow you to drop and drag files you need to be translated, and give you quotes immediately (sometimes even taking TM matches into account, depending on the CAT tool). If you’re happy with the quote you can then send the file straight to your translators without having to do anything else.
When most people think of machine translation (MT), they think of Google Translate. Although MT has no human involvement, when combined with editing by professional translators (machine translation post-editing/MTPE), MT engines have advanced so much that they can really help you meet your deadlines without compromising on quality. As you’ll use your existing translations to train the engines, you’ll be able to see that their output is based on the work of qualified translators.
If control and security are something you’re worried about, you really don’t have to be. As a translation buyer, you’re now actually able to see the progress of your translations in real time and step in if needed. CAT tools and translation technology have never been more secure so if you ask your CAT tool or technology provider about their security policy, they’ll show you technology isn’t something you have to be afraid of.
If you have any questions or would like some help with choosing the right technology for you, all you have to do is get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.