Best translation software of 2018

People working on a multilingual project

When your business is facing the exciting move into new international markets, you soon realize there’s much more to digital translation than punching words into Google Translate.   

Depending on your organization, the digital touchpoints that needs translating and adapting for these new frontiers can be numerous, and indeed treacherous. From accurately translating website copy to reworking apps and adjusting software, the task can be intimidating. How do you manage all that in one place?

Well, hiring an agency to deal with it may not be necessary, thanks to strong roster of translation and localization services available online and via the cloud. Here, we take a look at the best on the market, with services designed for lone freelancers to large enterprises, and every organization in between.   

GlobalLink

1. GlobalLink

Enterprise level translation and localization tools

Abundance of features 
Built for long-term use 
Fragmented nature of products

GlobalLink helps organizations break down borders with website and software localization and professional translation services. 

The service offers a string of applications built to manage the obstacles of localization. Each application can function independently or as part of an integrated globalization management system (GMS) to drive efficiency across the board for organizations looking to expand into foreign markets.   

These apps include an IT solution for launching and maintaining multilingual websites, a localization platform that provides customized workflows, CMS integration, and multi-vendor management, a translation memory solution, plus a review portal. There's also a web-based management tool that allows translation managers to modify, review, search or delete existing terms to maintain a consistent company message.   

If your organization is seeking a longer-term solution to translating communications and penetrating foreign markets, the wealth of services available with GlobalLink makes it a worthy candidate. You can grab a quote via the website.   

Pairaphrase

2. Pairaphrase

Text and audio translations for businesses

Processes a variety of files 
Supports audio translations 
High number of languages covered 

Focusing on straight translations rather than business localization tools, Pairaphrase applies its specialist technology to translating 57 different languages for professionals.

The platform’s secure file translator tool enables organizations to batch upload and translate multiple files at a time and is able to process 24 different file types, including PowerPoint, AutoCAD, Excel, InDesign, and scanned documents.  

For smaller batches of text, the translation wizard tool allows users to securely copy and paste their text before scrubbing all data clean on exiting the application, storing it within the organization’s translation memory bank.  

Another handy feature comes in the form of the voice-over translation, which enables users to upload a script file and receive the translated version as an MP3 or WAV file in 18 different languages. Pairaphrase also includes real-time collaboration tools that allow teams to work together no matter where they are.

Prices start from $125 (£93) per month.

Text United

3. Text United

Easy-to-use translation and localization platform

Wide range of features 
Slick UI 
Good integration options 

Text United has built a cloud-based platform for all your translating and localization needs. Bringing together outsourced and in-house professional translators, it promises “consistent and quality translation” that outdoes the service offered by agencies working in the same market. 

Text United provides a multi-faceted environment for teams to work together on projects while monitoring and editing translations throughout. These range from simple text translations for your website to complex software localizations.

Its UI is slick, modern and intuitive, allowing users to focus on the nitty gritty of their projects rather than spending time figuring out the software. Adding to the convenience is integration with third-party platforms such as Dropbox, Github, Bitbucket, SharePoint and Outlook. 

Even Text United’s basic plans (starting from $50/£38 per month) include features such as an overlay editor, translation memory, terminology management, machine translation and multilingual SEO support, while other tools like API support, data migration and platform integration come further up the scale.   

PhraseApp

4. Phrase App

Localization specialist offers a collaborative platform

Good tools for translator collaboration 
Easy to use UI
Good notification and integration options 

Focusing on the sizeable task of software and service localization, PhraseApp enables organizations to collaborate with translators in a simple, fast and transparent manner. The platform is powered by API-driven software that extracts language data from source code and makes it available for localization through an online editor.

Users operate their projects from an easy-to-use dashboard that offers a real-time status of the whole translating process at a glance. You can keep track of new tasks, missing translations and texts that require proofreading with just a few clicks. When you’re away from the dashboard, PhraseApp allows you to receive updates on translations and comments via email, in-app notifications or through integrated messengers like Slack. 

Adjusting translations is aided by a useful search function that can identify all text resources containing a certain word for a quick fix in multiple areas, while proof reading features enable other translators on the platform to swiftly verify text if required.   

Prices start at $10 (£7.50) per user per month. 

Lionbridge Translation Workspace

5. Lionbridge Translation Workspace

Translations for freelancers through to enterprises

Localization tools as well as translations 
Flexible plans
Old fashioned UI 

Lionbridge pitches its translation software at freelancers, agencies and enterprises alike, with a range of tools that support large-scale translations and localization projects.

Dubbed the Translation Workspace, features include a live assets tool which provides live updates to all translations, glossaries and review packages. It also offers project management tools like asset aliasing, which controls individual or group access to all live assets, thus protecting customer security. 

The software comes kitted out with numerous collaboration tools, including its live, online interface which allows users to review and comment on projects. The service integrates with GeoWorkz Marketplace, a job site for multilingual experts, helping you find resources, service providers and to collaborate with other subscribers. To help you audit everything going through the platform, a reporting and analytics feature includes stats to measure costs, productivity, project scope and more.  

Despite the solid range of features, the Lionbridge software feels a little old fashioned and clunky compared to other services, so it may be worth trying the free trial before committing. Price plans aimed at freelancers start from $14 (£11) per month, agency packages at $71 (£53) and enterprise offerings at $655 (£492). 

Best of the rest 

Lokalize does what it says on the tin, localizing and translating mobile apps and web content for companies big and small. The service allows clients to upload localization files, then edit and translate their copy with either their own translators or Lokalise's professionals.  

Another market player is Transifex, a cloud-based platform that localizes websites, web apps and mobile apps. It brings together communities and groups to collaborate from one place, where roles can be assigned and projects managed collaboratively through to completion.   

Crowdin targets developers with its web-based service that facilitates the translation of mobile apps, web apps, games, support documentation and more, to aid expansion to the global market. 

OneSky is another cloud-based translation service for localizing apps, games and websites. It translates projects both big and small, from freelancer to enterprise level, with over 50 languages covered by its ‘hand-picked’ team of translators. 

Finally, we have MotionPoint, which specializes in translating and localizing websites and software, but also uses ‘complementary technologies’ for producing translated copy for social media, sales material, digital marketing and offline use.