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  • Writer's pictureHernán J. Droguett

Translation software: speed and consistency

Most translators no longer use bilingual dictionaries, at least not in paper form.

In recent years, many software tools have become available to help translators increase their productivity. What are some of the tasks a translation software can help with? For one, speed. One of the basic functions of any translation tool is its ability to recall terms that have been previously translated. Let's say you're working through a marketing brochure on "eye care" services. In all likelihood, "eye care" will appear several times throughout the brochure. Once the translator decides that "eye care" is translated into Spanish as "cuidados de la vista", that translation is saved and will automatically be recalled the next time "eye care" comes up in the document.

The benefit of this tool is twofold - speed and consistency. Every time a translation choice is made, it goes into the translation "memory", and thus recalled every time a match is found. Picture other words that may come up in the same example brochure: services, appointment, healthy, glasses, contact lenses, specialist, etc. You get the point. Bottom line, it saves time.

Now, a word translators use a lot: consistency. It can be defined as "words/terms need to be translated the same way every time they're used." In other words, every time I see "eye care" the Spanish should be "cuidados de la vista." Simple enough, right? Yes, but just like writers have varying writing styles so do translators. A different translator may decide that the best Spanish for "eye care" is cuidados de los ojos, cuidado ocular, or atención oftalmológica (all of which are actually perfectly good translations!) That's why businesses need to know who their audience is, which translation is the best for that audience, and once they've zeroed in on who their potential customers are, stick with their translation choices. This is how a glossary is created, which is a bilingual list of approved translations that can now be used for future projects.

Does your business need help with a translation project? We can help!

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