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What Is a Translation Management System?

What is a Translation Management System

A lot of businesses that require translations often face the same fundamental problems. Inefficient coordination, high costs, and long turnaround times. What if there was a solution that could make your life easier? Breath a sigh of relief, because there is. With a translation management system (TMS), your company will be able to streamline translation and localization processes more effectively, efficiently, and at a lower cost.

What is a TMS?

Translation management systems work as a mediator between you and your numerous localization tasks. A TMS:

  • Organizes all your workflows and translation jobs into a single platform
  • Helps you to keep an eye on the status of translations
  • Allows you to create projects which can support an unlimited number of translation jobs
  • Enables collaboration between all stakeholders
  • Automates work processes (project creation, task assignment, email notifications, and more)
  • Leverages technology to reduce translation spend and turnaround time

CAT Tools vs. TMS

CAT Tools

Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tools are commonly used within the localization industry to enhance translation quality, speed, and consistency. CAT tools aid the translation process with the support of different translation technologies. Here are some highlighted features that you can expect from CAT tools:

  • Machine translation (MT)
  • Translation memories (TM)
  • Terminology management
  • Quality assurance
  • Segment analysis

Translation Management Systems

Translation management systems don’t translate for you, but a TMS will facilitate and manage the translation process, including:

  • Project administration
  • Workflow automation
  • API integration
  • CAT tools

Do you need a translation management system?

As your company focuses on global expansion, communication is key. English might be the global language, but it doesn’t always suffice in foreign markets—you need to localize. Customers need to feel comfortable when interacting with your business. They want to understand what is being sold, its features, and benefits. Having the price in their local currency can also make a big difference for potential buyers. The customer journey, from content to payment methods, should be adapted to local languages and cultures, no matter the industry.

4 Game-changing benefits of translation management systems

  1. Cloud-based - reduces ownership cost: Cloud-based technology has numerous benefits. It’s no wonder global companies are making the change from on-premise to cloud-based solutions. With a cloud-based TMS, you can say goodbye to high setup costs, maintenance fees, and other costs that accumulate along the way. Offering flexible subscriptions is a notable benefit of cloud-based TMSs. You are in control - you can scale your usage as your business grows, select features, and select the best edition for your budget. Solutions can easily be tailored to meet your needs.
  2. Data Protection - your content is safe and secure: Security is essential for both businesses and customers. With the collaborative nature of a cloud-based TMS, you don’t need to email sensitive data back and forth. High-standard security protocols are carried out by TMS providers to ensure your data is well protected.
  3. Translation Memory - eliminates repetition cost: Translation memories are databases of original and translated texts or segments that can be automatically reused for similar or identical content. The same content is often duplicated over the course of operations. Sometimes small updates to a user manual means an entirely new translation. By deploying a TMS, you are able to avoid paying a fortune for translating the same content over and over again. Translation memories also guarantee consistency in translation quality. The same localized words will be suggested across the platform each time the saved content occurs within a given text.
  4. Automation - enables higher productivity & revenue: With many simultaneous projects, using automation is key for keeping everything under control and streamlining workflows. There are different levels of automation in TMSs, and some systems can even automate the translation process end-to-end.
  • Automate Manual Tasks: You can eliminate manual tasks such as project creation, assigning jobs to vendors, quotations, and email notifications. Other automation functionalities include service and project templates which allow you to pre-define project settings, price lists, translation memories, term bases, etc. Some TMSs provide a secure and easy way to embed the translation request functionality into a website or local internet. It reduces the interaction needed between your team and both internal and external job requesters.
  • Machine Translation (MT): MT is an automation tool that translates text from one language to another with the use of computer software. Most TMS providers offer integrations for a variety of machine translation engines. Some even provide features for machine translation management, such as dynamic engine selection based on past performance or MT quality estimation
  • Third-party Integrations: Enable connections between your TMS and other tools in your tech stack with out of the box connectors. Your content can be automatically transferred between your TMS and other systems—such as online repositories, CMSs, or design software—to be localized quickly without switching back and forth between platforms. You can also build your own integrations with APIs to further automate and customize your localization workflow.

The next steps

Before getting excited about implementing a TMS into your workflow, you’ll need to convince your stakeholders that it’s a worthwhile, long-term investment. And once you have everyone onboard, you’ll have to choose the right TMS, which can be a challenge. We’ve put together a helpful guide to walk you through the process of selecting a translation management system.

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