Document Translation

What is the Best Translator for Documents?

Document Translation

Advancements in AI are making machine translations more reliable than ever before and have overhauled the translation industry. For enterprise-level businesses or smaller organizations looking to go global, translation software offers scalable solutions that make tapping into new markets achievable. 

If you need to regularly localize content for a multilingual website or cater to a growing international client base, reliable document translation tools are a must. However, there’s no substitute for human translation experts. The best translation services should allow for integration, making it easy for human linguists to perform edits to assist machine learning and ensure accurate and consistent results. 

The best document translation software features to look for

The best and fast online translation services allow you to produce high-quality output at scale. Different organizations have unique requirements when it comes to translation software. However, there are some core features that every business should be looking for when selecting software to translate documents and other content. 

Below are some of the most essential features you should be looking for if you want to ensure high-quality translations, streamlined workflows, and the biggest cost-saving benefits. 

1. Language pair compatibility

This is arguably the most important thing to consider when choosing a translation provider. You’ll need software that supports all the language pairs your business uses. However, you’ll also want to consider the future. If you’re planning on international expansion, it makes sense to choose professional translation software that will support your growth into new markets. Don’t assume a provider can handle the language pairs you’re looking for. They might claim to translate into a certain language, but they might only be able to do this from one source language. 

2. Translate entire files

To streamline your translation projects, look for software that lets you translate entire files. This includes things like PDF documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. If you need complete files to be translated, consider the file formats you normally use. Some software solutions might only offer compatibility with a few main formats. As with language pairs, you need to think about the future. What formats do you anticipate using in the next few years? Your translation software provider should be able to accommodate this. 

3. Copy-and-paste translation

As well as large volumes of translated texts, you need to think about more everyday situations where you might need short text snippets translated. You may need to localize a single paragraph or prepare an email for non-native speakers. Good software should offer copy-and-paste translation tools for just this purpose. 

4. Spell-checkers as standard

Sometimes, your source text may include spelling errors. This can cause issues if you’re using machine translations. When shopping around for translation for software for your documents, look for solutions that include reliable spell-checkers. 

5. Be consistent with terminology management

Consistency is important when you’re dealing with high-volume translations. It’s even more crucial for multilingual businesses that are producing content in many different languages. This is where terminology management comes into play. This process will identify and store specific terms that are most important to you. As such, it ensures these business-specific terms are properly translated, every time. 

6. Scalable solutions with translation memory

If you’re looking for scalable translations, you’ll need software that offers a translation memory component. Advanced translation memory takes stock of the phrases and words when documents are translated. These are then stored, with these text segments used to streamline future translations. 

It’s not only useful for speeding up the translation process but also helps ensure consistency if you regularly use highly-specific vocabulary. However, to make effective use of translation memory, human translators need to be involved in the process. 

7. Automatic file formatting

Improper formatting can slow down the translation process. Even if the translated text itself is of a high standard, having to manually return documents to their original format can take a long time. To make your life easier, look for software that maintains file formats.  The best software will ensure things like font styles, paragraph structures, and image placement remain intact. 

8. Edit machine translations

If you want to make full use of translation software you need a solution that allows you to perform edits to machine translations. Many first drafts are the result of machine translation. While these are useful in some situations, they’re very rarely ready to use. 

If you’re dealing with a specific document, such as a user guide with advanced terminology, you’ll need the ability to access machine translations and allow a human translator to make changes. Another benefit is that machine translation engines will learn from the corrections carried out by the human linguist, improving accuracy in the future. 

9. Real-time collaboration tools

Most translation projects involve large teams of multiple linguists, typically working in several different languages. To make the process go without a hitch, you’ll need a platform that allows for collaboration in real time. Collaboration tools improve accessibility and centralize projects, taking the effort out of translation management. 

10. 24/7 support from human agents

Even if the software you’re using is delivering reliable results, there will be times when you need to speak to a support agent. If you’re working with writers based in different time zones, 24/7 customer support is a must-have. 

11. Easily track translations

An all-in-one platform goes a long way in streamlining the translation process. One of the most useful features of these platforms is translation tracking. You’ll be able to see which linguists have contributed what content, as well as access an in-depth overview of what work has been carried out. 

12. Ability to integrate systems

If you’re thinking about system integration, make sure you select software that offers API access. You might not think that your business needs this yet, but as your organization expands, the need for integration becomes increasingly important.

13. Audio output

Are you looking for audio and video content, as well as text-based documents? Gof or software that makes it easy to transform text into audio content may be a key tool here. The cost-saving benefits of text-to-speech tools are significant if you require regular audio files, saving you the need to hire voice talent and add to your lead times. 

14. Robust security to prevent data breaches

Every business should be taking data security seriously, but it’s even more important for enterprise-level organizations. Any time you upload data, you’re putting it at risk. To mitigate the chance of a data breach, consider what security features a translation software provider offers. Does SSL certification come as standard? What about the encryption of stored files? 

15. How confidential is your data?

Just because a software provider offers advanced security measures, don’t assume you can count on complete confidentiality. Be meticulous when studying those terms of service. Check to see how a company will use the data you’re providing them with. If you’re dealing with confidential data, avoid any provider that will index or share information. 

16. Helps you remain compliant

Depending on what industry sector you work in, you may have to adhere to strict compliance laws and regulations. The software you select should allow you to remain compliant throughout the entire translation process. 

The best online services to translate documents

Looking for a translation company that can deliver reliable results at scale? Below are five of the best document translation services for you to consider. 

1. BLEND Express

Looking for fast and accurate translations? BLEND Express makes it easy to connect with professional translators and reap the benefits of advanced machine translation. This translation and editing service works with more than 25,000 linguists, providing content in more than 120 languages. What’s more, the all-in-one platform makes the entire translation process as streamlined as possible. You select your project type and requirement, upload briefs and supporting documents, then select the right candidates for the job. You also get access to in-house project managers, meaning you don’t have to worry about taking care of quality assurance yourself. 

2. Amazon Translate

Although Amazon is best known as an online marketplace, the company also excels when it comes to machine translation. Amazon Translate makes use of advanced neural machine learning translation to deliver incredibly accurate results in a matter of moments. Many leading languages are covered, while a full range of file formats are supported. 

3. Phrase

Previously known as Memsource, this cloud-based translation service has been going strong since 2010. This software can connect to your existing content management system, speeding up translation projects and allowing easy access for your entire team. Pricing is affordable, while the AI-powered translation engine delivers quick results. 

4. SYSTRAN Translate

With more than 55 languages supported, SYSTRAN Translate PRO is a good choice for any business thinking about international expansion. This company has been active in the translation sector for more than 40 years, with some of the biggest brands on the planet in their client list. This software can be used to easily translate documents and emails, as well as undertake website translation tasks. The platform itself is user-friendly, making it an accessible choice, even for those inexperienced with translation software. 

5. TextUnited

There’s a lot to love about TextUnited. This software delivers reliable machine translations, with a user-friendly interface designed to streamline all your localization efforts. It’s also ideal for those with one eye on scalability. Terminology management functionality means you can count on consistency, while collaboration tools make it easy to keep on top of larger projects. 

Document translator FAQs

Can I use machine translations for USCIS applications?

No. If you’re sending an immigration application, you’ll need a certified translation that’s also been notarized. In these cases, you’ll need to use a certified translation service.

What file formats are commonly accepted?

The best translation software should allow you to upload a variety of file formats. This includes editable files like DOCX, XLS, and TXT, as well as non-editable formats like PDF and JPG. 

Do I need to send hard copies of my documents?

You can, but online translation services should make it easy for you to upload digital copies of your source text and any supporting documents. 

What are the best paid machine translation tools to use in 2023?

There’s no shortage of machine translation tools out there. If you’re prepared to spend on premium solutions, consider using Amazon Translate, SYSTRAN Translate PRO, or memoQ Translator. 

What exactly is machine translation?

Machine translation automatically converts a source language into a different one. Although it can dramatically increase the speed of translation projects, the reliability of results varies between software. 

How to translate documents online with BLEND Express

Looking to have documents translated quickly by a provider you can trust? BLEND Express is here to help. Offering fast translations in more than 120 languages, it’s never been easier to meet those demanding requirements. To get your project started, use our self-service Wizard. Select your source and target language, then choose your project type. You can then upload your brief and any special project instructions. Once you’ve uploaded your content and provided us with an estimated word count, you’ll get an instant quote and are ready to be paired up with experienced translators. 

Need to talk through your project requirements in more detail? Use our online contact form to send us a message and one of our team will be back in as soon as possible.

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author post

Corinne Sharabi

Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.


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