Developing Software for International Markets - Part 1 - Pros and Cons

December 11th, 2011

The international arena is peppered with cultural and linguistic variety. These differences between geographic regions, locales and people necessitate the creation of robust, dynamic, intuitive and reliable translation memory software. The ability of software manufacturers to create an endearing product is dependent upon the TM programs being able to translate information accurately, rapidly and effectively without losing any of the contextual meaning. Such is the challenge in the development of software for international markets. Within the ambit of accurate and reliable translation software is the issue of pros and cons. Many of the issues pertaining to developing software for International markets are dependent on the contextual meaning being apropos in the target language. The Pros of Developing Software for Global Markets Among others, software development companies seek to deliver the finest product possible when developing TM software. Ideally the programs should feature a fully customizable set with specially defined macros for effective translation. Further the TM software should sport an understandable MS-Word user interface too. The ability of the software to perform unlimited TM and glossary sharing over a Local Area Network (LAN) is paramount. When constructing the software for global markets, it’s imperative that the software is fully integrated with myriad dictionaries and thesauruses too. The really exceptional TM software sports all of the aforementioned qualities – bar none.  A list of other pros of developing TM software includes:

  • The ability to use the translation memory software from any location where a web browser (Internet connection) is available
  • The ability of users to enjoy collaboration in workgroups for TM applications
  • The alignment of previously translated data into new TM software programs
  • Greater consistency owing to increased accuracy and contextual correctness
  • No need to download software in order to get started
  • High speed processing of translated material
  • Time and cost savings

The challenges inherent in developing Translation Memory Software for an international market are many. Foremost among them are the multitude of programs that need to be compatible in order for the software to function at an optimal level. Therefore a wide base of software products needs to be able to be compliant with the TM software in order for it to work well. Contextual errors are the most prominent of the challenges faced by TM software manufacturers. While the literal translations may prove accurate, they are often incorrect when translated only literally. The context and the ability of the software to interpret contextual meaning are paramount.  For wordsmiths and translators, the TM software has become somewhat of a hindrance. This is not a result of the software itself; rather it’s an economic issue. Human translators are now largely being replaced by TM software. And because companies are only paying for the translation of non-repeated content, human translators are having to raise their prices in order to survive with their craft. This actually raises overall costs for end users. The reason is that end users typically bear the brunt of the full TM costs. All documents and pieces of translated material require an actual translator to verify the full accuracy and applicability of the translated material.

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