12 Useful Online Translation Tools
Michail Strijov · Updated: 22 November 2020
Translation can be a challenging task, requiring in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and extensive research. However, digital technology has made the translation process much easier and faster. These 10 online translation tools are used by translators all around the world, and recommended for anyone who wants to streamline their translation process.
1. LingueeLinguee is a go-to tool for most translators, combining a dictionary and a translation search engine. Linguee draws on an enormous database of more than 100 million translations in all major language pairs. Its engine also constantly crawls the web for relevant translations and shows you how a word is being translated in different contexts.
2. MemsourceMemsource is an affordable and efficient cloud-based translation management platform. With an attractive pricing policy starting at just 27$ per month, Memsource is particularly well suited for smaller localization teams, offering a set of cloud-based features sufficient for most purposes: translation memories, termbases, multi-user functionality, MT implementation etc. – all fully integrated for online team collaboration and a lightweight offline editor.
3. ProZ.comProZ.com is the focal point of the online translation community and features the largest network of language professionals worldwide. The terminology search and discussion tools are indispensable if you have a tough nut to crack, and the job board (where outsourcers can post jobs for freelancers to quote), the freelancer directory and the Blue Board (where freelancers can leave reviews regarding outsourcers’ credibility) are very useful if you’re looking for work.
4. SDL Trados StudioSDL Trados Studio still holds the crown as the most common and comprehensive CAT (computer-assisted translation) solution. While the price may be hefty, the money is well-invested for anyone looking to make a career in translation – Trados can handle most filetypes, streamline your workflow and is often a prerequisite for working with agencies.
5. Dict.cc/LeoDict as well as Leo are great tools for quick lookups of not-overly-specific terms in many language pairs. Both sites offer fast interfaces, large databases and handy features like community discussions and pronunciation samples.
6. Microsoft Language PortalMicrosoft maintains an official terminology database for all of its products, including short descriptions of terms as well as product context. An invaluable tool when doing IT-related translations, not only because it provides you with conclusive translations for IT terminology, but also because consistency is so important when translating things like graphic user interfaces. Microsoft also offers free downloads of its general terminology collection, its UI translations as well as style guides.
7. IATE (Interactive Terminology for Europe)The official terminology database of the European Union covering all 26 EU languages. A critical resource ensuring consistency and public availability of official EU terminology. This database is continuously curated and updated to include correct terminology from all institutions of the European Union.
8. WIPO PearlThe World Intellectual Property Organization – a UN agency responsible for IP matters – maintains this beautiful database of terms derived from patents, a translation field with extremely strict terminology requirements. Every term entry is also given a quality rating, and Pearl can even show you “concept maps”, a kind of word cloud linking associated IP concepts.
9. Translators CaféTranslators Café is a community website similar to ProZ, with all the same features – but without the commercial angle (a ProZ.com professional membership will make finding work much easier, but will also set you back some 120$ per year.)With a free account, you can bid for jobs, participate in the forum discussions and outsource jobs yourself, with TC taking no steps in the way of making you pay for their platform.
10. Magic SearchIf you want to search most of the above translation tools at the same time and then browse through the results in one window, Magic Search is the place for you. You can also customize the resources Magic Search pulls for you, or use a Chrome extension for the most comprehensive one-click term research available.
11. MemoQCAT tools are really a matter of preference, and MemoQ is a very popular option with translators. Compared to Trados it offers superior collaboration and cloud functionality, as well as some sophisticated features like Live Docs, which allows you to automatically build a translation memory from two versions of the same document in different languages.
12. ReversoSimilar to Linguee, Reverso offers a context search from a database of existing translations, and provides a useful set of translation tools like a free machine translation engine, spell checking, a thesaurus, and comprehensive conjugation tables for verbs.
By Michail Strijov
Michail is a full-time freelance translator specialized in technical and IT translations as well as trans-creation. Learn more…