Developing Software for International Markets: Part 2 - Things you should consider

December 19th, 2011

Translation software development has become something of an art form. This is especially true of the higher-quality TM software. Developers and innovators have long been fine-tuning their craft in order to provide end users with the most affordable, reliable and contextually correct TM translations. Before any translation memory software is purchased, it’s imperative to consider a host of factors. These may not always be apparent from the get-go, but if overlooked these issues can become a tremendous stumbling block in the future. For example, is the TM software able to provide end users with increased levels of consistency with real-time accessibility to translated content? Other issues which should be considered include the following:

  • Support services for a wide and ever-increasing range of translation services
  • Intuitive TM interfaces to work well with MS-Word and related programs
  • Centralized translation memory programs on safe servers
  • End users have instant access to all the translated content
  • Centrally defined user privileges in the TM software
  • Cost savings by employing the use of TM software

International markets require the inclusion of specific cultural and textual nuances and idiosyncrasies in their translated material. It does occur that the correct literal translation provides an inaccurate overall translation in the material being considered. Thus contextual correctness must be the overriding directive when developing software for international markets. As one of the prime aspects you should consider, it is oftentimes necessary to employ the services of an actual human translator. These individuals are better able to verify and approve the correctness of the translated material, should the need arise. Are Human Translators Necessary to Validate and Verify the Translated Content? When translation software for international markets was first developed it contained translated segments of information that were a valuable aid to translators. This had the effect of cost and time savings for translators and those requiring the translated material. From the actual translator’s perspective, the TMs are largely replacing the need for their services, as the end user is only paying a translator for content that has not been translated via the automatic TM software. Higher costs are inherently the result. The truth is that translators need to check the content for contextual correctness.  It works out that if their workload is being diminished, their prices naturally increase to offset the differences. Other issues to consider when developing software for international markets include the following:

  • The Ability of Users to Try the TM Software Before they Purchase it
  • Unlimited Translation Memory and Glossary Sharing
  • Video Learning Libraries, Resources and Downloads
  • The Speed and Functionality of Batch Processing
  • The Level of Customization Available to Users
  • The Overall Levels of Security and Privacy

In order to be assured that the end product is indeed one that will work well with the requirements of the user, there are several points worthy of mention. Users should insist on the use of a fully-functional demo version that operates without the need for a paid license and allows for hundreds of translation units. The trial software should be a good fit prior to a purchase being warranted.