Monday, November 05, 2012

The great thing about translation management software... how it faultlessly ensures translation quality.

Many translators bitch and moan about translation companies who use translation management software: how tiresome it is to log in to download even small projects, log in to create invoices, and so on and so forth.
Sadly, these translators don't seem to see the big picture: by using such translation management platforms translation companies ensure the quality of their projects - no more wrong files sent out to translators, or received from them.

Everything is tidy, ship-shape and tightly controlled... or, is it?

A translation company (whose name I'll charitably refrain from mentioning), has just sent me a small project to edit. I logged in their translation management platform and downloaded the translated package: All there for me in one tidy zip file: a folder with the source file, a second folder with the bilingual translated target file to edit, a third folder with the translation memory, a fourth folder with the translation memory log.

  • The source file did not correspond to the translated file (and it was not just a question of different file names: the content was also was fundamentally different); 
  • The translated bilingual file I was supposed to edit had segments in which the target language appeared also in the source language place (I could more easily understand the reverse, and attribute it to a sloppy translator); 
  • The analysis log referred to the source file (the one that did not correspond to the target one) and to a project with a different name and number than the one I had received.
Yep... translation management platforms work great: no longer problems for translation companies who rely on them.


  1. Hi. Even smoother would be if, as a translator, you wouldn't have to deal with file downloads at all. What if the files changed while you are translating? They'd send you a new file and who will check what changed?

    1. Easy enough to see what change when you use any CAT tool... or do you mean something different?

    2. I think a translator should (ideally) not have to bother with separate files at all, especially in environments where the product to be translated might actually change several times a week or even per day (modern mobile apps for example). Versioning can become tricky at that point...

  2. Some of my clients upload the files to their portal or server and having to familiarize yourself with all the different features is quite annoying. Besides that, I never had any issue :)

    1. Hi Silvia. What would your ideal translation environment look like?

  3. Riccardo,

    I agree with you, I worked for an American translation agency for 5 years in the past. They had their own online translation software(Webcatt). At first I found it difficult to learn all the details but soon I noticed that the program was really simple and useful. Everybody who worked there shared the translation memory of each website they were working with so the memory was constantly changing and growing. And whatever change you made or new contribution you entered enriched the entire memory and you could detect mistakes in the TM and arrange them easily.
    It was a good system in many aspects. I think it was the best option for big website translation projects


  4. I found an excellent tool that allows you to translate with Google and Microsoft at the same time.This comment did in Spanish using:

  5. In my own opinion, machine translation isn't reliable when compared to human translation. Just my own thought. finnish translation.


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