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What Advantages Do Translation Software and Apps Have?

Technology has revolutionized the way content is translated, and translation projects are managed. The whole translation process has become more effective and efficient.

Here are the main advantages of translation apps:


Faster Translation

For start-ups and established companies alike, it’s all about time-to-market. The faster a product or new features are ready to be shipped, the earlier the team can start learning from real user experiences and make improvements. 

The various translation management tools have increased the speed with which content and software can be translated substantially. While machine translation and translation memories save time during the translation itself, automated workflows in translation management systems accelerate the turnaround time of whole translation projects.


Higher Translation Quality

Translators can now rely on automated quality assurance, translation memory, and terminology management to increase the quality and consistency of their translations. These tools ensure that the right words are used at all times and mistakes are identified and fixed automatically.

Machine translations are producing an output of high quality, yet, still rely on human translators for final checks. They have significantly increased the speed at which high-quality translations can be provided.


Increased Transparency 

Translation management tools have the advantage of providing a full picture of the entire translation process. Project and Product Managers can easily manage all moving pieces of a translation project.

In addition, reporting and analytics features can transparently answer questions about money spent, pieces of content translated or quality of translators to support decision making and future resource allocation.


Seamless integration 

Translation platforms can now be integrated seamlessly into the landscape of existing systems via APIs. This automates workflows and decreases the chances for human errors.

For example, by linking a translation app with a Content Management System, content can be easily pulled and pushed between the two systems. The whole team works more efficiently when there is always the most updated version of a document available.

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How to Translate Web and Mobile Apps: Best Practices & Tips

Much can go wrong in software translation projects. From mistranslations over broken strings to lack of context, rolling out apps in multiple languages is hard. The different skill sets of translators, developers, designers, and product managers need to work together towards a common goal. However, if certain common mistakes are avoided and best practices and tips are followed, translations projects can be a big success and less painful.


Plan for Localization Early on 

This is by far the most important tip. Having the translation process already in mind when creating the original software will save the team much trouble in the long run. The dreadful alternative could be reworking the complete app to support other languages increasing the time-to-market substantially. 

However, by considering a few key things in the beginning, the translation process can be painless.

Plan for flexibility and space: Languages can be very different from another. It’s not only that the same expression might consist of three words in English but five in French. A major world language like Arabic is read from right to left, and Chinese is written vertically, for example. The app design needs to leave enough space and flexibility to cater to these differences. 

Don’t link strings together: While linking strings together seems like a great shortcut in the initial development of the software, it will cause trouble as soon as other languages come into play. Translators shouldn’t be constrained to the limits of linked strings when providing a faithful translation. Eventually, the strings will have to be broken apart to make space for a new language.

Watch the date, time, units and number formats: Unfortunately, the world has not agreed on standard formats for date, time, units or number formats yet. Even the first day of the week can vary between countries (In the U.A.E it’s Sunday!). As a best practice, those should never be hard-coded to avoid trouble during the translation process. 

Use Unicode: This is the most commonly used way of dealing with multiple languages. Whenever something is not supported by Unicode, a single wrong character in the code can break the translation. Therefore, UTF-8 should always be used as it standardizes the encodings across browsers and servers. 


Define Objectives and Milestones 

A well-known quote by Alan Lakein says “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Nothing could ring more true for translation projects. Developing a roadmap with clear objectives and milestones is key as it helps the Product or Project Manager guide the team in the right direction. 

The better each team member understands his or her role and responsibilities in the project, the more effective he or she can work. Expectations should be communicated early, so the team members can raise any concerns before it’s already too late. It could also be beneficial to discuss the budget with the team to ensure everybody makes the best use of the available resources.


Establish a Style Guide 

A translation style guide is a solution for maintaining consistency in tone and style when working with a large team of translators. It’s a manual that informs the translators of specific rules, for example, the tone, special terms and formats to be used. The guide can be as short or as long as needed, but translators will appreciate brevity and precise instructions. Including reference material with examples of right and wrong can make the guide even more useful. 

Here are the main points and examples that should be covered in a style guide:

  • Voice and tone – Should it be formal and serious or filled with slang and colloquialisms?
  • Context – Who is the target audience? What is the purpose of the app? 
  • Consistency – Should the polite or informal form be used to address the audience? How literal should the translation be?
  • Branding – What are specific terms related to the brand that shouldn’t be translated?


Use One Common Platform 

Running a translation project without a translation management system can be compared to steering a ship in stormy weather without motor and GPS. No one wants to collide with an iceberg when trying to translate a software fast and flawlessly. 

Using the right translation management software from the start can save the whole team a lot of hassle. Lengthy email threads, manual file transfers, mountains of spreadsheets and important information gone astray will finally be things of the past. 

One common platform can not only keep the project organized and transparent but also optimize team collaboration. The developers can leave notes for translators providing them with more context. The translators can easily explain why they phrased a sentence in a certain way and translate directly onto the website.

Translation App

As more and more companies, large or small, are expanding into new markets, the demand for translation has never been this high. The language services market is expected to grow from $46.52 billion in 2018 to $56.18 billion in 2021, according to a report by CSA Research

This is not surprising when one considers that native English speakers make up only 25% of the world’s internet users. There is a massive opportunity for businesses to conquer new markets, but only if they can offer their products and services in the local language. 

According to CSA Research, as much as 60% of non-native speakers rarely or never buy from English-only websites. The message is clear: “Can’t read, won’t buy.” Translation is a necessary hurdle to overcome for every company looking to build a global growth strategy

These facts and 20 translation fails in global advertising manifest the need for professional translation services, apps for translation and software for translators. 

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Why Is Localization Management Important for Business?

While English remains the most common language of the internet, Internet Statistics show that Chinese users are almost as numerous. Moreover, English internet users make up just over 25 percent of all internet users (IWS, 2018).

This means that if your site is in English only, you’re effectively ignoring three-quarters of all internet users! That’s a pretty big market share. Of course, not everyone surfing the net is going to be interested in your product. But with the right market research and localization management tool, you can reach significantly more customers.

Here are just some of the advantages of localization for your business:


Increase Market Share

The right localization management service, website localization tool, or app localization tool will help you target more customers around the world. This will increase your market share with relatively low investment.

Just think about Airbnb. The company that began in its founders’ apartment is now in over 190 countries around the world. Through effective software translation and localization management, the company was able to go from a value of zero to north of approx. $40 billion today.


Grow Revenue

Localizing your content isn’t cheap, especially when you invest in a quality localization management service. However, localization should never be seen as a cost but always an investment. As your share of the market dramatically increases with each country you enter, so do your revenue streams.

There may be no one-size-fits-all localization ROI model for each company. But we do know that Fortune 500 companies that invest in localization report higher revenue.


Gain a Competitive Advantage

In the cutthroat world of business, chances are you’re operating in a competitive market. One fast, effective, and simple way to gain a competitive advantage is through website and app localization.

Remember that 60 percent of users who never buy from an English-only website? If your website is translated and localized to cater to local tastes, you’ll be leagues ahead of your competition still trying to force English onto Spanish-speaking buyers.


Strengthen Cultural Awareness and Be Truly Credible

When you localize your content for your customers you treat everyone as if they’re first-class citizens. Rather than offering a weakly translated version of your original content, you show your customers that you understand and care about their problems, needs, and wishes.

In simple words? You speak their language. You know what products they like and how to communicate them. Imagine trying to promote your winter line of wooly scarves to people living in the Southern hemisphere in a heatwave in summer! With effective localization management, you can become a respected global player.


Boost Global Presence

Just as your market share and revenue grows, so does your global presence. More people become aware of your brand when you reach new markets, strengthening your position. Facebook, for example, reports user saturation in its home market. But India now makes up its fastest-growing user group!

What Advantages Do Translation Software and Apps Have?

Technology has revolutionized the way content is translated, and translation projects are managed. The whole translation process has become more effective and efficient.

Here are the main advantages of translation apps:




Faster Translation

For start-ups and established companies alike, it’s all about time-to-market. The faster a product or new features are ready to be shipped, the earlier the team can start learning from real user experiences and make improvements. 

The various translation management tools have increased the speed with which content and software can be translated substantially. While machine translation and translation memories save time during the translation itself, automated workflows in translation management systems accelerate the turnaround time of whole translation projects.




Higher Translation Quality

Translators can now rely on automated quality assurance, translation memory, and terminology management to increase the quality and consistency of their translations. These tools ensure that the right words are used at all times and mistakes are identified and fixed automatically.

Machine translations are producing an output of high quality, yet, still rely on human translators for final checks. They have significantly increased the speed at which high-quality translations can be provided.




Increased Transparency 

Translation management tools have the advantage of providing a full picture of the entire translation process. Project and Product Managers can easily manage all moving pieces of a translation project.

In addition, reporting and analytics features can transparently answer questions about money spent, pieces of content translated or quality of translators to support decision making and future resource allocation.




Seamless integration 

Translation platforms can now be integrated seamlessly into the landscape of existing systems via APIs. This automates workflows and decreases the chances for human errors.

For example, by linking a translation app with a Content Management System, content can be easily pulled and pushed between the two systems. The whole team works more efficiently when there is always the most updated version of a document available.

Time to Get Started with Phrase

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Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.

Try for Free

What Is a Translation App?

Translation can be defined as the communication of meaning from one language (the source) to another language (the target). The translator is challenged to take into account any cultural differences to preserve the original intent and tone of the message. 

An app for translation is any type of software that supports the process of translation in a certain way. This includes apps that help travelers communicate in a foreign country as much as translation software used by language professionals to translate websites.

What are Some Apps or Software for Translators?

Nowadays, the translation industry is heavily influenced by advances in technology. With a vast range of translation applications on the market, practically all translators are using some type of translation software in their daily work. 

Here are the most common types of software for translators:


Machine or Automated Translation

Machine translation tools are software able to automatically translate a text without human intervention. Probably all of us have used a machine translation tool, such as Google Translate, at least once. 

Machine translation is often used for the translation of large amounts of information that could not have been translated the traditional way. The output quality can vary considerably though and is usually evaluated by the human effort required to post-edit the text. However, machine translation systems can be “trained” to produce higher-quality output. 

Here are the three main approaches to machine translation:

  • Rule-based systems translate based on a vast amount of algorithms that take grammar, syntax, and phraseology of a language into consideration. 

  • Statistical systems rely on existing material as references and look for the best match when providing their output. 

  • Neural machine translation utilizes machine learning to continuously teach the software new phrases and terminology to arrive at the best results.

Language service providers fall back on machine translations more and more to cut cost and increase efficiency. Machine translation can also be part of computer-aided translation tools used by human translators which we’ll discuss next.


Computer-Aided Translation  

Computer-aided translation is a type of software for translators that can increase productivity in the translation process. Basically, it’s a text editor that lets professionals translate faster and more consistently by eliminating repetitive translations and auto-correcting mistakes. 

Functionalities of computer-aided translation tools can include spell checks and autocorrect, machine translations, electronic dictionaries, text search tools, automated quality assurance, translation memory, and terminology management. Let’s look at the last three in more detail.

  • Automated quality assurance is a built-in fail-safe for translators. It automatically identifies errors in translations such as wrong formatting, double spaces, wrong numbers, missing tags, and segments.

  • Translation memory is a database that stores translations for later reuse. For that to happen, the text is split into short segments. Whenever the translator repeats a segment, he or she can use a previously stored translation as is or with minor edits. When working in a team, translators can reuse translations from others which leads to a higher overall translation consistency. 

  • Terminology management, sometimes called glossary management, refers to a searchable database of subject-specific, technical, and company terms and their rules for usage. It ensures that those terms are always used correctly, resulting in higher translation quality.


Translation Management Systems 

Translation management systems tie it all together by systematizing the translation process and everything around it as much as possible. They combine process management with linguistic technology to automate workflows. 

Translation management systems enable project managers to oversee high volumes of translations and multiple projects at once. For translators, administrative and repetitive tasks are automated so that they can focus on the key responsibilities around translating, editing and reviewing.

The main features of translation management systems are:

  • computer-aided translation tool which includes useful features such as automated quality assurance, translation memory, and terminology management. 

  • Machine translation software that is integrated into the translation management system via API connectors. 

  • Integration with third-party systems from which the translation management system can easily pull content and push it back once the translation has been completed. 

  • business management tool that automates invoicing, financials and project management tasks. 

A typical application of translation management systems is the localization of software. Phrase is the perfect tool to make software products available for different markets in different languages, completely hassle-free. Phrase makes it easy to collaborate effectively and efficiently with a large team of translators, developers and product managers on one common interface to avoid the common mistakes in software localization.

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How to Identify the Best App for Translation?

By now, it should be clear why an app can come in handy for the next translation project. However, the decision which one to work with can be tricky. There is plenty of choice on the market for translation software. Before deciding to buy, clearly define for which purpose the software will be used. Is it needed for a small or a large project? What needs to be translated? How many users will be involved in the project?

As a next step, the shortlist of applications can be assessed according to certain criteria. There are a few must-haves that every translation software should have. Here are the most important criteria to be considered when evaluating an app for translation:


Flexibility & Scalability

Great translation apps provide the freedom to add and remove users as well as to decide who can access which data. Eventually, the software should be able to grow as the number of projects increases. As a best practice, check early how many users can be added and if there are costs associated with additional users. 

The ideal translation software should also support an extensive list of file formats to ensure that anything that comes in can be utilized without problems. Reverting to handling files manually can be frustrating.


User-friendly Interface 

Translation projects can gather people from various countries with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Some of them might be quick learners while others might struggle to adapt to new technology. The last thing translation projects need are delays or poor quality because team members don’t understand how to use the software.  

A good translation application should be intuitive and easy to use for everyone, regardless of their technical abilities. This will not only speed up the workflow but also avoid errors. 


Ability to Work Online 

Web-based translation apps have clear advantages, starting with increased efficiency. There is no need to download, install or update software. Translators from different countries won’t have to worry about compatibility with different standards anymore. 

With an online tool, the whole team can start work immediately from anywhere at any time. Even better, translators are able to translate directly on a shadow version of the website, app or software they are assigned to, providing them with more context which makes their job easier.  


Seamless Collaboration 

Translation project teams can easily grow to more than just a handful of people. When many work together, miscommunication, inefficiencies, and confusion can happen, especially if there is no common place for communication. 

The best translation applications have solved this by providing room for seamless collaboration. This could include leaving feedback on translations, marking translations as ready for review and seeing the progress of each translation project. Developers, translators, linguists, Project and Product Managers can easily work together in unison on one platform. 

Solid Translation Memory   

A solid translation memory is a must for every translation application. A reliable database of all work the team has done in the past is essential to avoid duplicate work in the future. Old work can be recycled easily to increase efficiency and turnaround time. 

In addition, all translators have access to a complete glossary of terms and terminology. This feature can avoid extra research and inconsistencies in translations. 


Effective Search Functionality   

The amount of data will grow with every new project that’s starting. This is a lot of information to handle, in multiple languages. Translators shouldn’t be looking for the needle in the haystack when searching for something they need urgently. 

They require a powerful search function that doesn’t take forever to find a file from a previous project. A fast search means less stress and pressure for the translators.


API for Automation   

The translation app of choice should come equipped with an efficient API to integrate it with existing workflows and automate processes as much as possible. Cumbersome downloading, converting, and uploading of files from one software to another or manual data entry will be things of the past. 

At best, the translation software integrates with the popular software building program GitHub, which is used by many developers around the world for localization and internationalization.

Time to Get Started with Phrase

Easy to set up. Free 14-Day Trial. Buy or cancel at any time.