The Proper Place of Translation Software

By Al Tamehi
In Translation
Nov 20th, 2017

Why use a Translation Software?


The leap in new technology has placed translation as one of the most important priorities for small and big companies dealing with their partners from all parts of the globe. They need a software to help them understand emails and websites coming across in different languages. Translation Software make this international communication possible.

What features to look for in a Business Translation Software?

If you are searching for the Best Translation Software you should look for the following features:

  • It should provide you with a variety of language packages to choose from.
  • It should have a simple and user-friendly Display System.
  • It should be able to translate Word, Excel and Power Point presentations.
  • It should have text to speech capability.
  • It should have an embedded spell checking ability.
  • It should have an active email, telephone or live chat support system.
  • If necessary it should have Mac compatibility.


Pit holes to watch for when using Translation Software

Translation Software instead of searching for word by word translation in dictionaries looks for word combinations and usual patterns to be able to comprehend the structure of a sentence. Because of this the software is not able to interpret many common phrases and phrasal verbs such as, “get the hang of it” or “difficult to pull it off ”.

The second problem is the inability of Translation Software to take care of long texts.

The Third problem arises where the software has to deal with complex sentences. For example translation of, “the contract was signed” is easily done. However when confronted with, “It would have been impossible to have the contract signed by late afternoon” problems arise.

Finally there is always the possibility of translation slip-ups especially in overseas marketing campaigns, sometimes generating disastrous results. One was Pepsi’s, “Come Alive” campaign which translated into Chinese by a Translation Software read, “We bring your ancestors back from the grave”!!

The Final Verdict: Translation Software only produces the gist of a document for you. However it does it quickly and reliably.


Get to know some of the Best Translation Services

Google Translate: Able to translate up to 50 languages using statistical methods. It works best when it is dealing with common languages which provide it with billions of words to analyze. Therefore it performs rather poorly with less common languages.

Free Translation: It translates texts up to 10,000 characters in 30 languages. It uses SDL software.

World Lingo: It translates in 30 languages but with a 500 word limitation. You can either submit the URL of a single web page or paste your document.


Comparison of sample Arabic Translations done by Translation Services

Here is an interesting comparison between some of the Best Translation Services in translating a complex Arabic phrase:

Original Arabic Phrase:

هذه رسالة أناجيك بها


Human Translation of the phrase into English:

This is a message I confide you within


Translation of the phrase by 4 well known Translation Services:

















As you see in these comparisons none of the Translation Services were able to produce a good translation. Having glanced at these examples, Let us have a look at the road ahead in using Translation Software in its proper place.




The Road Ahead

In this article we briefly studied the different capabilities of Translation Software. However as long as we analyze Translation Services as a separate entity we are limiting the scope of our vision. Translation Software make their significant mark when they are blended with the unique power of interpretation and intelligence of the human being. So a hybrid approach is the vision for the future where we enhance the translator’s ability by supporting him or her with the speed, efficiency and the huge information data a Translation Software provide. Imagine a word processor software assisting you as you translate by providing a list of vocabulary suggestions as you type or envisage a Translation Software that is programmed to your personal likings and techniques. Computer and linguistic scientists are leading the research in this field. A professional translator usually translates around 3000 words per day, now you can foresee the significant increase in this rate by computer- assisted translation.



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