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The Inside of a Translators Toolbox

Translation is one of the most exciting tasks I’ve ever encountered. Translators are extremely passionate people and it makes sense, since all their projects require them to become fully engaged with the topic du jour and learn as much as they can through research to be able to write like an expert. There are high expectations for translations and luckily our modern world provides an unimaginable amount of nifty tools that help produce better results faster. Here are some of them.

Linguee

Beloved by translators and language learners everywhere, Linguee works like a bilingual dictionary that searches multilingual websites and the results show both words (or expressions!)  in their context for a clearer understanding of meaning and use.

SDL Trados Studio

Translation agencies often require that their translators are able to work with SDL Trados since it is one of the most popular computer-assisted translation tools available and has numerous useful features such as termbases, translation memories, and can even be used to translate software. Newbie translators should check out the 30-day trial version and do some research to decide if they should invest in a SDL Trados licence.

The Free Dictionary

The world’s most comprehensive dictionary works not only as a bilingual dictionary for many language combinations, but it also has dictionaries for the medical, legal, and financial areas. Having trouble with some terms? The Thesaurus,  Acronyms and Abbreviations, and Idioms sections can help! The Free Dictionary is up-to-date and has many more features and tools. 

Fluency Now

Fluency Now is a full-featured CAT tool suite that’s affordable thanks to its low monthly pricing, this way freelancers can avoid large upfront payments for long-term contracts with software they are unfamiliar with. This versatile tool is easy to use and a huge timesaver: you can reuse translations and work with all major file types including those of other CAT tools.

ProZ

Translators from all over the world meet at ProZ to participate in forums, receive training, offer services, browse jobs, and learn more about agencies. 

MemoQ

Another popular translation software available. MemoQ you will support you on your everyday tasks and help you boost productivity with impressive features like Terminology Management, LiveDocs, Muses, and Automatic Quality Assurance.

Memsource

Here we have a free cloud-based solution for translators. Memsource’s intuitive platform is built for Windows and Mac, has all the features of a CAT tool and is very flexible. You can use the browser version, the desktop version, and there’s even an app! Manage your translations (any file type, any language combination) anywhere free of charge.

Translators Café

A great place to connect with other fellow translators in the international linguistic community. Just like in ProZ, here you can also offer professional translation services to agencies and direct clients. Add your language pairs and you’ll receive notifications when jobs you are a good match for appear. Visit the TranslatorsCafe website to create your translator profile.

Zanata

Another option if you are a fan of web-based translation platforms is Zanata, which offers many translation tools that you can access with your browser. Zanata also has a heavy focus on community and teamwork since you can create teams to translate your files or contribute to a translation. All teams have at least one Maintainer who manages the settings and versions, delegates tasks, and adds and removes translators.

SmartCAT

Translators working with plurilanguage files will enjoy using SmartCAT, a CAT tool that lets you work with multilingual translation memories. This platform streamlines the translation process into an intuitive loop where translators, editors, and proofreaders can all work simultaneously and have access to translation memories, glossaries and quality assurance checks.

Magic Search

A fantastic solution to terminology issues. The Magic Search browser extension will do the work for you and collect all the dictionary results from multiple sources and display them in a single page. Pick a language pair, submit your query, wait for the results taken from dictionaries, corpora, machine translation engines, and search engines. The way you can add/remove dictionaries and customise their order is the greatest thing ever, anyone would think that you are asking for too much but MagicSearch has no problem.

IATE

Translators working with European languages are always checking the Interactive Terminology for Europe (or IATE), which holds all the answers to those questions regarding official European Union terminology. The project has made a lot of important information available and this has helped with the standardisation process. It has many partners like the European Parliament and the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, and legacy databases were imported to it.

OmegaT

This free open-source translation memory application is of great help to professional translators. It can process multiple file projects, does match propagation, recognizes inflected forms of therms in glossaries.

ConveyThis’ Website Word Counter

This is a free online tool that you can use to calculate a websites’ word count. In its calculation, all words on public pages and SEO counts are included. The ConveyThis’ Website Word Counter saves translators and clients a lot of effort since it makes budget calculations and time estimations easier.

What other tools do you use? Did we miss any obvious ones? Share your recommendations in the comments!