The best translation management software reviewed for 2024

The best translation management software reviewed for 2024

 

With hundreds of Translation Management Software options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which system is right for you. And this is essential, because one translation management tool is not like another.

In this article, we hope to help you cut through the noise and make an informed choice.

There are two main types of translation management software.

  1. The first has project management at its core, with related functionalities and services stemming off from this. Market research and consultant company Nimdzi refers to these as translation business management systems.

     

  2. The second main type of TMS includes functionalities to help with the act of translation, coupled with light-touch project management tools. These have now adopted the TMS acronym.

This article will look at top of the range translation management solutions in each category, highlighting the best options for different needs.

Software management translation system

 

The best project management-focused TMS (or TBMS)

Project and business management-focused translation software, excel at all aspects of managing a translation project, from project creation through to project delivery and invoicing.

Vendor management is another area of strength. These translation management tools may not only provide a database of all vendors (translators, localizers, reviewers, and so on) and key information such as specializations, language pairs, availability, and bank details, but may also use automation to speed up certain processes such as choosing vendors for projects and creating invoices.

These translation management solutions also prioritize the financials. They make it quick and easy to create and send quotes to clients and often automatically calculate project finances including costs, margin, and profitability, so that both project managers and the management team have the financial oversight they need.

Below we’ve reviewed the best project management-focused systems and identified what sets them apart.

For vendor management and automating processes: XTRF

Clients particularly appreciate XTRF’s ability to streamline vendor management and automate steps in the workflow.

For example, you’re able to easily take true vendor availability into account, with the system accounting for not only vacations and absences, but also vendor speed and remaining capacity.

Plus there are plenty of options to tweak the system to suit your needs right out of the box, whether it’s invoice templates, workflows or dashboards.

XTRF Logo

The best TBMS for freelancers and small businesses: LSP.expert

If you’re a team of one or a few, you don’t need a translation management platform with all the bells and whistles. What you need is an affordable system that allows you to manage your clients, projects, quotes and invoices – without a steep learning curve. 

LSP.expert fits the bill. You can also outsource jobs and coordinate your suppliers if needed.

The best TBMS for freelancers and small business: LSP.expert

If you’re a team of one or a few, you don’t need a translation management platform with all the bells and whistles. What you need is an affordable system that allows you to manage your clients, projects, quotes and invoices – without a steep learning curve. LSP.expert fits the bill. You can also outsource jobs and coordinate your suppliers if needed.

The best TBMS for ease of use: Protemos

If you’re looking for a straightforward system to help speed up your day-to-day work, Protemos is a good option. 

Small to medium-sized language service providers appreciate that it’s user-friendly and saves them time.

Protemos logo
LBSSuite logo

The best TBMS for customer relationship management: LBS Suite

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to nurture relationships with potential and current clients. And LBS Suite has incorporated advanced CRM functionalities into their software, enabling you to manage these communication channels and relationships, as well as your translation projects.

The best TBMS for customer relationship management: LBS Suite

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to nurture relationships with potential and current clients. And LBS Suite has incorporated advanced CRM functionalities into their software, enabling you to manage these communication channels and relationships, as well as your translation projects.

LBSSuite logo

The best TBMS for integrations: TranslationProjex

One of TranslationProjex’s strengths is its ability to connect with other important software. Whether it’s easy file management with google drive or dropbox, or connections to CAT tools or CRM, TranslationProjex has it covered.

Translationprojex Logo

The best translation management systems (with CAT tools)

These full-service translation management solutions focus on the translation process itself. They incorporate technology that allows translators to translate more efficiently, namely a computer assisted translation (CAT) tool, alongside traditional TMS offerings. Many full-service TMS started out as CAT tools, before adding on some project management features, while others began as TMS and either built or bought CAT functionalities.

CAT tools focus on speeding up the translation process and ensuring consistency across projects. Choosing a TMS that incorporates CAT tool technology can be a cost-effective option as a one-stop-shop, since both project managers and translators need to only use and learn one system, rather than a CAT tool and a project management tool. However, PM functionality can be limited and there are often greater efficiencies to be found by combining two platforms.

Below we’ve summarized the best translation management system options for different needs.

For translation efficiency and Enterprise users: XTM Cloud

XTM Cloud has focused on bolstering translation efficiencies through improved translation memory (TM) leveraging, reportedly retrieving up to 30% more TM matches than the industry standard.

The C-suite will no doubt be interested in the cost savings this offers.

XTM Cloud logo
crowdin logo

For developers: Crowdin

Crowdin focuses on localizing software, apps, websites and games. Software developers in particular rate its ability to facilitate the translation process, including the possibility to use Crowdin language services or its marketplace to source translators, rather than having to organize their own translation team.

For developers: Crowdin

Crowdin focuses on localizing software, apps, websites and games. Software developers in particular rate its ability to facilitate the translation process, including the possibility to use Crowdin language services or its marketplace to source translators, rather than having to organize their own translation team.

crowdin logo

For versatility: Phrase (formerly Memsource)

In 2021 Memsource acquired Phrase, a software localization platform, becoming one of the largest players in the field, with software that’s seen as a great all-rounder. Users appreciate its versatility and intuitive interface.

Phrase logo
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For continuous localization: Transifex

Another popular website localization tool is Transifex as it integrates with common developer tools and offers version control. What’s more, Transifex enables you to implement website changes without needing to involve developers, which helps make continuous localization a reality.

For continuous localization: Transifex

Another popular website localization tool is Transifex as it integrates with common developer tools and offers version control. What’s more, Transifex enables you to implement website changes without needing to involve developers, which helps make continuous localization a reality.

transifex logo

For translator familiarity: Trados

An early CAT tool that’s stood the test of time, Trados is a translation technology stalwart. It’s now owned by one of the largest global language service providers, RWS, and is reportedly used by more translation professionals than any other tool on the market. The upshot? Translators are likely to be familiar and comfortable with using the system.

Trados Logo
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For translator preference: memoQ

MemoQ is another TMS that has evolved from a traditional CAT tool. But while Trados may have greater market share, it seems that memoQ may be in line for a translator’s choice award, with the results of Nimdzi’s 2022 TMS Survey showing that, alongside Memsource (now Phrase), memoQ has both the highest number of positive experience responses and the lowest numbers of negative experience responses.

For translator preference: memoQ

MemoQ is another TMS that has evolved from a traditional CAT tool. But while Trados may have greater market share, it seems that memoQ may be in line for a translator’s choice award, with the results of Nimdzi’s 2022 TMS Survey showing that, alongside Memsource (now Phrase), memoQ has both the highest number of positive experience responses and the lowest numbers of negative experience responses.

memoq logo

For ease of use: Lokalise

Rated easiest TMS to use on G2, Lokalise also focuses on software localization, with developers and translators alike commending its proficiency in text generation and quality assurance.

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For localization newbies: Smartcat

Smartcat is a good option for companies who aren’t familiar with localization. It features a built-in marketplace where you can source translators, with matches and recommendations that help you choose the right freelancer for each job.

For localization newbies: Smartcat

Smartcat is a good option for companies who aren’t familiar with localization. It features a built-in marketplace where you can source translators, with matches and recommendations that help you choose the right freelancer for each job.

Smartcat logo

For quick setup: Smartling

If you want to get up and running straight away without any training, then Smartling may be a sensible choice. It boasts a user-friendly interface that makes it quick and easy to upload content to be translated.

Smartlink logo
GLOBALLIKNK logo

For customer service: GlobalLink

Owned by large language service provider TransPerfect, GlobalLink puts customer support front and center, with users appreciating how the company works with them to achieve their goals and solve their problems.

For customer service: GlobalLink

Owned by large language service provider TransPerfect, GlobalLink puts customer support front and center, with users appreciating how the company works with them to achieve their goals and solve their problems.

GLOBALLIKNK logo

The best project focused translating management system

 

How to choose the best Translation Management Software for you

As we’ve discussed, there isn’t one best translation management tool overall. It’s more of a case of different strokes for different folks. In other words, there are different best-fit systems for different organizations, and you need to choose the translation management option that meets your specific needs.

So how do you narrow it down?

  1. Consider size and scalability: are you a boutique agency or do you need an enterprise solution? And don’t forget to take into account your future growth plans.
  2. Similarly, look at the pricing models and make sure you’re aware of the cost of any add-on services or additional licenses.
  3. Check the TMS you choose works well with your field of work and any particular requirements you may have such as file types or specific workflows.
  4. Weigh up the features and functionalities on offer; what can you live without, and what will save you a heap of time and money?
  5. And finally, know whether you need online translation management software (cloud-based) or an on-premises option and make sure your chosen system fulfills those requirements, as some tools only offer either on-premises or online.

Once you’ve pulled together a shortlist of appropriate systems, take the time to try them out. Most will offer a free trial or demo so you can see the software in action. And be sure to see what your colleagues have to say. Ask around and read the reviews. We recommend independent review sites such as G2, Capterra, Sourceforge and Software Advice, and for industry updates, check out Nimdzi, Slator and Multilingual.

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