8 Free Tools For Translators to Boost Quality and Productivity
This is a guest post written by Maria Scheibengraf, who we recently featured in our 6 best LinkedIn bloggers in the translation & localization industry.
When it comes to translation work, there are hundreds of tools for translators to choose from. The challenge is not the lack of software but rather finding the best tool for our specific goals. Not too long ago, we compiled a list of the best free tools for freelance translators; today, my focus is on translation quality and productivity. With these two goals in mind, I’ve put together a list of 8 tools that will help you produce better translations more efficiently without breaking your piggy bank.
Free Tools for Translators to Boost Quality and Productivity
Inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, typos… as translators, we dread them because catching them can be difficult and time consuming.
Xbench is a free Quality Assurance (QA) software that allows you to adjust the settings to your needs and generate a report that will let you edit your work until it is immaculate. This way, you save time by not having to manually find every error and your quality is significantly improved. Moreover, this software can be seamlessly connected to CAT tools if you need it (for example, you can upload Trados Studio bilingual files).
Want a bonus? Xbench also reads translation memories. There are multiple versions available. Try looking for the older ones as they are free.
As translators, using glossaries and dictionaries becomes almost second nature, but checking different ones during a project can slow us down. The TermWiki Toolbar allows you to search terms in over 150 industries and 90 languages straight from your browser. That way, you can translate accurately without compromising on speed. Apart from finding terms in just a few clicks, you can also contribute your own. The option of browsing terms is quite handy too, as it takes you straight to TermWiki’s complete term lists. Give this free software a go and see for yourself why it’s among the most invaluable tools for translators to manage their terminological and glossary development needs.
SmartCat is one of the best browser-based tools for translators. It’s particularly useful for linguists working in teams, as it allows collaborative work. Everyone in the team can open and edit the project simultaneously, and tasks can be divided. It’s an all-in-one solution designed to save you effort, as you won’t need to switch between software to complete the different stages of your translation. This way, you can load your glossaries and TMs before translating, have a colleague edit your work, use the QA check feature to ensure top-notch final quality, and benefit from the machine translation function if you so wish. The bonus? There’s a marketplace where you can find clients.
TMXEditor is a desktop application designed for editing translation memories in .tmx format. With this tool, you can process and edit the content of all your translation memories, merge or split files, remove duplicate fields, etc. Besides, it allows you to work with any language combination. You can then also import the .tmx files into your usual CAT tool. TMXEditor is your best friend if you, like me, love merging same-industry or same-client TMs into one big TM that you can just open during your project to save effort and time.
Specially popular among interpreters, BoothMate is ideal for managing terminology, extracting terms from texts to build glossaries, sharing such glossaries with other linguists, consulting dictionaries and learning with flashcards. The result? Accurate, consistent translations for which you don’t need to spend any extra time doing manual terminological work. You can even consult your glossaries and terms offline, just make sure to open the app with Internet connection and it will automatically sync up the information.
Use PDFescape to to convert PDF to editable formats, to merge PDFs together, insert or change text, use the freehand drawing tool, add images, insert new pages, sign forms, etc. I personally love the notes and comments feature when editing translations. Moreover, you can improve your file’s security by adding electronic signatures and watermarks. Say goodbye to spending hours on end transcribing your client’s PDFs into a text editor!
Grammarly is amazing for proofreading what you write online —be it an e-mail, a social media post, cloud-based translations, etc.—, and is also a writer’s best friend. You can easily integrate this tool into your web browser as an extension. Among all the tools for translators available online, Grammarly is one of the most comprehensive ones: it detects grammar, syntax, and punctuation errors, poor style, homonyms, and even plagiarism. Even though the paid version includes more features, the free version is useful as well. Take advantage of Grammarly to produce spotless texts and to work more efficiently by having a virtual assistant at hand.
How many times have you started working on a translation and ended up watching cute cat videos on YouTube? StayFocusd is a simple Chrome extension that allows you monitor your idle browsing. This way, you can work efficiently and remain focused on giving your best to the task you need to complete. Simply set the maximum amount of time you would like to be on a certain website before it becomes blocked, and you are done.