in Language Technology, Localization Tips

Human translators cannot easily keep up with the massive quantity of information that is produced in our globalized society. At CSOFT we keep close track of developments in language technology. We’ve discussed the future of translation, the benefits of machine translation, and the various machine translation companies. In this blog post we will further explore the cooperation between man and machine in language processing through a look at translation memory.

Translation memory is a database of previously translated words and phrases to which translators have access. Without a doubt, such a database places a massive quantity of data at the fingertips of human translators. This collaboration dramatically speeds up translation time. International communication depends on translation of language. Translation memory software provides the high volume of processing that machines can provide without losing the high level of quality that human translators can provide..

There are two major translation memory tools that deserve special mention: Wordfast and SDL Trados.

Wordfast and SDL Trados Translation Memory

Wordfast was created in 1999 by Yves Champollion, who has 30 years of translating experience. It has a wide product offering, stretching across several different operating platforms, making it appropriate for a variety of situations. Wordfast is applicable in translation work for an amateur individual translator or a large company. There is also a non-expiring free trial for new translators to try the program and familiarize themselves with it. Compared to other software, it has a low learning curve, and one of its most popular products, Wordfast Classic, is compatible with Microsoft Word.

Wordfast’s products are cheaper than its major competitor, SDL Trados. Statistics show Wordfast to be very popular. 36% of translators say they use Wordfast products, and for 11.5% of translators, it is their most used tool. When combined with its easy-to-learn functionality, it comes across as affordable and accessible software that doesn’t compromise on the sophistication that translators need.

SDL Trados is the industry standard; over 72% of translators work with SDL Trados. A massive 43.2% of users depend on it as their most used translation memory tool. These figures are high despite its much higher price and learning curve, a hurdle which requires classes for translators to familiarize themselves with the software. But once mastered, it can be used with a great number of file formats, ordinary or obscure. All in all, it is a complete tool for translation.

Contemporary societies are so interconnected that information races across national borders in the blink of an eye..Fortunately for us, clever translators and engineers are working hard to build software that helps us combine the power of machine translation with the nuanced expertise of personal translation. At CSOFT we take the time and spend the resources to make sure that our translators and linguists are kitted out with the latest software to allow them to do the best work in the shortest time. We also take great pride in the quality of our translators and linguists who really bring the human touch to any translation work we engage with.  It’s this combination of technological innovation and human inspiration that really brings the best quality to the translation and localization industry.

Written by Kevin Jae, Technical Writer at CSOFT International

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