Five Must-Haves in Translation Management Software


According to new data from MRRSE, the global translation software market is on pace to reach $10 billion by 2020. Companies can now effectively market to a global audience from the moment their website goes live.

However, managing the requirements of translation and localization for multiple markets worldwide isn’t something most businesses have the bandwidth to tackle in-house.

The result is a booming translation management system market, but a wealth of choice is sure to raise the question: how do you know which platform best suits your needs? Here a five must-haves for any viable solution.

1. Leverage a Vendor-Agnostic Translation Management System

The first key to any great translation software tool? Vendor agnosticism. In other words, your platform shouldn’t restrict the number or type of vendors you can work with in order to deliver the best content for your brand.

To make sure you get the quality and efficiency your investment deserves, look for solutions that support both cloud-based translation tools such as translation memory, style guides, and glossary; and the freedom to work with both professional language service providers or freelancer translators at your discretion.

A translation management system supplier who limits your access or provides only a list of “approved” partners may not be confident in its codes, and if you decide to go elsewhere you’ll discover why.

2. Own Your Translation Memories

One question to consider when evaluating a translation management system is what happens to your content after it’s been translated?

Translation management services that embrace translation memory -- an ongoing record of all translated content you’ve ever produced -- will save you time and money. With a TM, your translators won't have to retranslate every word and phrase for future translation projects.

But not all software localization and translation management systems play by the same rules. Some claim any content memory is theirs by default, and mandate that you pay a fee for the use of your own ideas. You should, instead, look for a provider who understands that content ownership always rests with the creator, not the converter.

3. Utilize Cloud-Based Collaboration

If you’re looking for the best localization and translation, you’ll find it with the help of native-language experts.

Often this means seeking out talent from across the globe to produce new content and ensure that your web presence clearly aligns with local values and expectations. Tapping this worldwide expertise, however, requires the use of a cloud-based platform that enables collaboration anywhere, anytime.

Web based translation tools enable translators to log in and start projects whenever and wherever they need to. Your marketing and content experts will be able to see exactly how much progress has been made. On top of it all, your translators gain access to a glossary and style guide that reflects your branded content requirements.

Attempting global translation without the cloud is an uphill battle at best.

4. Scale at Speed with a Translation Management System

Once you’ve made the successful jump into a new community and begun implementing a thorough positioning strategy, the natural desire is to hit the ground running with greater speed, especially if you’ve identified an “underserved” market niche with unique language requirements.

But with each new market you add, the total volume of content and team members needed to process it grows exponentially. As a result, you need a translation management system capable of scaling to match your speed, rather than struggling to catch up.

In other words, the most well-localized content comes out of providers that offer a global content network capable of pulling data from multiple sources simultaneously and delivering a responsive web experience to every customer in your new geographical market.

5. Find a TMS That Will Work with What You’ve Got

If you’re on the web, you’ve probably already got a content management system (CMS) in place. Some translation software platforms want you to dump your existing CMS in favor of their proprietary offering, typically citing better compatibility and increased speed.

But here’s the problem: what if the provider goes out of business or you decide to change translation vendors? How do you get that content off of their CMS and back under your control? It’s better to find a translation platform that works with your existing CMS and lets you keep your content structure intact rather than forcing a change.

Translation Management System Shopping Can Be Easy

When it comes to choosing intuitive translation software, you can’t go wrong with these five must-haves.

Look for vendor-agnostic solutions that respect your ownership of content, and opt for scalable, cloud-based systems that work with your existing content strategy.