Translation Software

Am on the lookout for a professional level translation tool that is capable of handing ideally both Traditional and Simplified characters, but the must is Traditional.

IT would need to have its own dictionary/glossary of technical terms etc that can be set up and maintained, as well as the ability to learn context.

I would appreciate hearing form anyone that uses such a tool, or knows of one, as well as their experiences both good and bad in using the tool.


the most used translation tools today is TRADOS.
it handles almost all languages including SC and TC. It sure has it’s own dictionary which is called a Multiterm. But I don’t know about it’s ability to learn context. I haven’t heard of any CAT tool that learn context. Maybe I should google more. Considerations however in picking up translation tool are price, robustness, translation memory, ability to handle different file formats, software translation tools availability, etc.

Serveral other tools are Atril dejavu, multilizer, TransitXV, Alchemy, Catalyst, RC-Winstrans…

Check out the link below … nlinks.htm


Wenlin does both traditional and simplified characters and there are versions for both Mac and PC.

The only reliable translation tool today is a translator. Period.

BTW, Trados is CAT, not a translation software package. It only recalls what has been previously translated by a human and indicates when a substantially similar sentence is encountered in future translations. It’s also painfully expensive (around US$700 for the Freelance edition these days.)

Same for other packages like Wordfast, MetaTexis, OmegaT (Java based), StarTransit…all of these are translation memory packages, which mean they assist a real translator.

If you have any pride or ambition for the company or organization whose materials you will be translating, your money will be far better spent on hiring a competent, native-speaking translator to put your documents into whichever language you want them to be in. You can always post-edit machine translation, but you are often editing incorrect meaning, so while it might sound good, it’s not what the author wrote. Garbage in, garbage out is true, but good stuff becomes trash rapidly if you run it through a dumpster.

OK, here what you all say, and do not disagree with IronLady about the best being a proper translator, but as i have upward of some 5000+ files, a good proportion of which will need to be updated etc once every 18 months to 2 years then this really is not feasable or practical from a cost point of view to do the traditional way.

I cannot believe that Companies like Microsoft when translating Windows help files etc always go back to native speaking human translators, although i could be proved wrong

If this really is the only way then anybody got a real iea of price etc, for this translation

Microsoft has its vendors all across taiwan and great china for translation. They have differerent translation workflow and different translation team for each product. Most of their localized product however is built buy their local office. Example IME Japan is made in Japan, and all localization related stuff is written originally in japanese for japanese user rather than english. Microsoft has a number of internal software dedicated to localization ranging from LocStudio, Helium, and other bugtrarcker software.

Microsoft localized a lot of Help files in hlp or chm. Most of them are distributed to many different vendors. Their latest strategy in Asia is to throw their localization project to Japan, and have it managed there by japanese project managers. Japanese localization companies will outsource the project to vendors in china, taiwan, and korea.

I do a lot of chm and hlp myself. Trust me, this is a blue collar type of work. I did more than a thousand Ctrl + shift + right arrow every day :frowning: sigh


[quote=“Traveller”]OK, here what you all say, and do not disagree with IronLady about the best being a proper translator, but as I have upward of some 5000+ files, a good proportion of which will need to be updated etc once every 18 months to 2 years then this really is not feasable or practical from a cost point of view to do the traditional way.

If this really is the only way then anybody got a real iea of price etc, for this translation[/quote]

You have to understand something about the translation process…what languages are you talking about? If it’s one way (for example, just Chinese to English), then what you want to do is find a good translator who uses some sort of CAT tool (most likely Trados but there are others.) Then, when you update, you would not be charged the full amount – the software will tell me, for example, what percentage of your file has changed and which parts are the same as the last time. The CAT software will automatically translate the parts that are identical, so you are paying ONLY for the actual update parts. And you know the translation is correct. If you bother to have it translated at all, you might as well be sure that your target text means the same thing as your source text and is expressed in some form of the language that won’t cause the reader to explode in helpless laughter.

If you have multiple languages, I can recommend a reputable, quality conscious agency here (PM me if you want) which can handle this kind of thing for you. You could also go agency for a single-language deal if you need speed (it would take a single translator, or a team, a long time to do 5000 files, I suppose.)

This isn’t that darned “Database of Taiwan Industries” project come back to life again, is it? I thought someone had finally driven a stake through its heart sometime back in 1999. :unamused: :shock:

[quote=“ax”]I do a lot of chm and hlp myself. Trust me, this is a blue collar type of work. I did more than a thousand Ctrl + shift + right arrow every day :frowning: sigh


You need to upgrade, mate. It’s only blue-collar if you don’t equip yourself appropriately. With a good CAT tool, you would do ONE Ctrl-shirt-right arrow, and the tool would do the other 999 each and every day. They also work on html and other tagged files. It’s an up-front investment but if you are attempting to turn out professional work and make professional money, it’s worth it. Otherwise you’ll go crazy with all the arrows. :laughing:

Ironically, You got me wrong irongirl, I wasn’t talking about CAT then. I was talking about the HAT tool, which in the case of the relentless ctrl+shift+arrow is the referring to Microsoft Help Workshop 4.30


Um…I have no idea what you just said. Can you rephrase? If you’re not translating them, what does it have to do with what the poster asked about?? I’m confused!! Hindi ako umiintindi!! :blush:

is there any kind of free translation software out there ? because most packages you mention are all kind of expensive …

Still a hell of lot cheaper than paying to get the job done properly, though.
If chabudo is good enough for you, I don’t think you need to pay for Babelfish. Remember, in order to translate, you need to be able to think. Computer software can’t.

None of the machine translation packages can even turn out an acceptable text in languages like Spanish which are substantially similar to English (compared to Chinese). If you trust ANY computer translation package, you’re on your own, and the results are not likely to be good. And to check it, you need someone who is competent enough in both languages to (likely) have done the translation in the first place (because many times the packages may turn out lovely prose that has nothing to do with the original meaning).

Why not get a quote from a couple of REPUTABLE agencies or freelancers before deciding to drop money on something that will only create problems? I’ll be happy to refer you to some if you like.

that is a very subjective and superopinionated remarks. Having worked with translation tool yourself doesn’t make you a guru in translation memory package.

We’ve used Trados for English - Chinese, Japanese - Chinese, German, to Chinese and Korean to Chinese translation. During all these years, our Clients have been updating their products and documentation for umpteenth times. CAT tools really improves the translation process. It all hinges on the quality of your translation memory, the brainpower of your native reviewer, and how much similarity of contents your files are to the translation memory.

A translation tool like trados will analyze your files, and give you a word count based on 100 percent match, fuzzy matches, and repetitions. It segments each sentences and marks it based on the quality of matches. When a native reviewer open the files, he can either ignore the 100 percent match or give it a spot check, and concentrate on the fuzzy matches and untranslated segments. Once done, he updated the translation memory for further reuse.


Trados is not a translation software package, it is a translation memory package.

Please read my post carefully. There is a difference between translation MEMORY tools (aka CAT, computer-assisted translation) tools and translation programs or translation software.

Translation memory tools (CAT) such as Trados, which I use, turn out a quality product IF the operator is a quality translator. These are not programs that translate on their own.

The original poster asked about translation software, which means a free-standing program which translates FOR you, no translator involved.

NONE of the currently available translation software packages turns out anything even one step above garbage, if you give them a real test. Translation memory programs turn out anything from garbage to Shakespeare, depending on who is running them.

Did you bother to read this further up in the thread??? :unamused:

And, as much as you may not like it, I will claim guru status after 15 years in the field.

I love a good pissing contest, cuz that’s all it’s about now. :sunglasses:

Anybody have an idea as to how much software the likes of Trados actually costs, are we talking hundreds of US$, thousands or tens of thousands, makes quite a difference

Mr. Traveller,

Buy the TRADOS 5.5 TM Pack for now only $1,495.
I got that line from one of my previous emails.

To counter the GURU’s remark. We usually refer to Trados as transtool, localization tool and even translation software as the less known term, CAT tool.

While the thing she refer too which also categorized under translation tool is called Machine Translation usually shortened as “MT”. Several good MT tools can be found on the net. The one used by Altavista and Babelfish is Systrans Engine. There’s a good Japanese MT package named Tsunami MT. I haven’t found a good one for Chinese though. Dr.eye 2002 has a built in MT, but it really sucks. I think Twinbridge Partner also comes with an MT tool.


It’s not a pissing contest; I’ve been in this field for a long time, and I know what I’m talking about. I don’t mind being pecked at, but please figure out what you’re talking about before you start pecking.

Google hits:
“CAT tools”: 11,200
“transtool”: 1,410, including references to a software package for transcription (not translation) which goes by that name

CAT is the accepted and common term for this type of software.

I can only assume that the office where you work and discuss translation software vs. translation memory (CAT) is staffed by non-native English speakers or people who are new to the field of translation and therefore don’t know the correct terminology or indeed perhaps even the distinction.

Trados is currently beyond v. 5.5 – that would be old.
You can check out their Web site:
Price for a legal version varies, but the freelance packages are around US$700-800 for a totally new license (not an upgrade). I don’t have time to go through their Web site to find out the exact price but it should be there.

Anything offered at NT$1495 is going to be illegal. If it’s US$1495 it might be the team version, not the freelance version; the team version is more expensive, and is designed for agencies to use.

I reiterate: there are currently no good “translation software” packages on the market which will change your Chinese into English or vice-versa automatically. There are a number of CAT tools which, in the hands of a competent translator, will reduce your costs for repeated updates or small changes to your documents.

of course anyone can google…
I did a search for “translation software” 3,170,000 hits
much more that “cat tool” which hits 1,450.000

I said that’s an old email, it’s the price for upgrade of team version to 5.5, and it’s in USD.

Now we’re using 6.0.