25 Translation Tools for Business in 2021

by Shu Ni Lim 18 minutes to read

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) software is an essential tool for anyone in the translation and localization industry. The people who use them are not only translators but also marketing specialists and project managers in any business that caters to international markets.

Since there are different demands within the industry, translation software go by many names that indicate their range of functions, which often includes translation management systems.

If you're new to the localization scene, I recommend starting with our 101 guide to translation software. Otherwise, let's jump right into the good stuff.

The list

Whether you work as an independent translator or run a localization team of any scale, we've collected 25 translation tools and their details in one place to help you choose the right one.

As a baseline, all of the 25 tools listed here provide:

  • the use of translation memories or any kind of language database to suggest translations for new content; and
  • a translation editor that segments content for translators or proofreaders to review and revise.

If you need help with your choice, at the end of this list, you can find 5 Things to Consider before Committing to a Translation Software

Translation Tools Covered:

Redokun | SmartCat | SDL Trados Studio | memoQ translator pro | Lokalise | Text United | Transifex | LingoHub | Smartling | Memsource | Phrase | Crowdin | Weglot | POEditor | Pairaphrase | GlobalLink | XTM Cloud | OmegaT | CafeTran Espresso | Matecat | Wordfast Pro | Swordfish Translation Editor | Transit NXT Professional+ | Cloudwords | MetaTexis for Word

1. Redokun

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents, Marketing Content
Who Uses It: Marketing Agencies, Global Enterprises, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Very easy to use, minimal training required
  • Organize and manage your project files using folders just like in Google Drive
  • Smart revisions for quick and last minute changes to the original document
  • Seamless collaboration, import, and export features
  • pre-translate documents based on various databases (e.g. translation memories, machine translation)
Pricing: Starts from $50 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users love how intuitive and easy it is to use the software with collaborators, as well as the responsive support team.
  • While initially known for its InDesign translation features, the tool has since expanded its capabilities to Microsoft Office documents and other file formats.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Redokun on
YouTube

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2. Smartcat

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Marketing Content, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Marketing Agencies, Global Enterprises, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Free to use for life with limitations to use computer-assisted translation tools
  • Collaboration Features
  • Integrated Vendor Marketplace
  • Automatic billing and international transactions
Pricing: Starts from $249 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Freemium
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users find the tool to be well-designed and user-friendly but still missing certain features for automatization. However, the team is consistently releasing updates to improve the translation experience.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of SmartCat on YouTube


Image obtained from Smartcat

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3. SDL Trados Studio

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Translation Agencies, Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop (with optional cloud extension through SDL Trados Live)
Highlights:
  • Widely used by translation agencies
  • Suggests translations based on various database (e.g. translation memories, machine translation)
  • Useful translator tools like predictive typing, spellchecker, punctuation check etc.
  • Steep learning curve due to relatively complex interface
  • Support and maintenance fees are excluded from the one-time license fee
Pricing: Approximately $2,933 to buy the license, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Many users chose SDL Trados Studio over other alternatives because most of their clients used this tool which makes information exchange easier. However, some also reported that the interface is not so beginner-friendly, which is expected for a feature-intensive software. It is also a relatively expensive tool.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of SDL Trados Studio on YouTube


Image obtained from ALL PC World

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4. memoQ translator pro

Type: CAT Tool
Suitable for: Documents, Marketing Content
Who Uses It: Translators, Language Service Providers
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop (with optional cloud extension through memoQ Cloud)
Highlights:
  • Designed by translators to perform, edit, and review translations more efficiently
  • Provides project templates and live preview
  • Runs on Microsoft Windows only
  • Must connect to memoQ server for full translation management and collaboration capabilities
  • Free support and maintenance for one year
Pricing: $770 (for individual use only), contact support for enterprise pricing
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users enjoy the varied selection of quality assurance and text processing tools. However, like SDL Trados Studio, the sophistication of the software is said to come with a steep price tag and learning curve.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a review of memoQ on YouTube


Image obtained from memoQ

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5. Lokalise

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: Marketing Content, Website Assets**,** App Localization
Who Uses It: Marketing Teams, Global Enterprises, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Collaborative web-based translation editor
  • Document version control through branching allows you to work on different iterations of the same file and then combine them when done
  • Two-way plugins for Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma (for higher tier subscriptions only)
Pricing: Starts from $90 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Most reviewers reported a positive user experience in both translation and project management. One user mentioned that a paid seat is required to invited a native speaker to review a translation, which is something to consider if you're planning to keep translations in-house.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Lokalise on YouTube


Image obtained from Lokalise

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6. Text United

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: Documents, Website Assets, App Localization
Who Uses It: Marketing Teams, Global Enterprises, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Uses translation memories and machine translation to speed up content localization
  • Provides audio and video translation using automated speech recognition technology
  • Supports API integration and various other connectors like Sharepoint and ZenDesk
  • Generates spending report to help you optimize translation costs
Pricing: Starts from $71 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • In addition to a good foundation of translation tools, many users also raved about their reliable and friendly support team.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Text United on YouTube


Image obtained from G2

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7. Transifex

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: Website Assets**,** App and Software Localization
Who Uses It: Startups, Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Provides advanced configurations for more complex and highly automated workflows, such as an additional “proofread” step after translation
  • Prevents documents from being overwritten by other translators with Edit Lock
  • Offers community translation where a group of translators suggest and vote on the best translations
Pricing: Starts from $70 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Many users discussed how easily they can connect and send content to be translated on Transifex from GitHub and Figma. Overall, it's an ideal tool for software localization.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Transifex on YouTube


Image obtained from Transifex

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8. LingoHub

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: App and Software Localization, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Specializes in streamlining translations for apps, games, and websites
  • Translate and develop your app at the same time
  • Syncs with popular repositories like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure
Pricing: Starts from $29 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users like LingoHub's intuitive interface and versatile API, which makes software development more straightforward and highly customizable where needed.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of LingoHub on YouTube


Image obtained from LingoHub

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9. Smartling

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: Documents, Website Assets, App Localization
Who Uses It: Medium to Large Global Companies
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Cover all the basic CAT tools like translation memories and pre-translation
  • Supports integration with various software and tools you may already be using
  • Download their design application plugins to translate content from Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, and Figma
  • Generate reports and analytics within the software
  • Steep learning curve
Pricing: Starts from $200 per month, contact support for more details
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users love the flexibility to configure their translation workflows based on other platforms they are using. Of course, with great customization power comes a greater learning curve.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Smartling on YouTube


Image obtained from crozdesk

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10. Memsource

Type: Translation Management System, CAT Tool
Suitable for: Documents, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises, Language Service Providers, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Cover all the basic CAT tools like translation memories and pre-translation
  • Very easy to use, little training required
  • Can be connected to your content management system to maximize workflow automation
  • Manage translations on your phone or tablet using their mobile app
  • 24/7 Technical Support
Pricing: Starts from $27 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users appreciate the simple selection of features and clean interface, both of which help enhance their user experience. Some reported minor issues with quotations and cost calculations, which are non-factors if you primarily use it with your internal team.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Memsource on YouTube


Image obtained from Memsource

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11. Phrase

Type: Software Localization Platform
Suitable for: Web or Mobile App Localization, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Startups, Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Supports localization across various platforms and programming languages
  • Syncs with popular repositories like Bitbucket, GitHub, and GitLab
  • Adapts to your existing tools, such as Slack and Wordpress, through plugins and integrations
  • Enables branching and versioning
Pricing: Starts from $23 per user per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Phrase is highly scalable as indicated by its users with small to large software localization projects. However, several users reported that it's not always easy to organize and locate content.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Phrase on YouTube


Image obtained from Phrase

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12. Crowdin

Type: Localization Management Platform, CAT Tools
Suitable for: App and Software Localization, Website Assets
Who Uses It: Marketing Teams, Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Free to use, but your translations are donated to Crowdin’s translation memory database
  • Syncs with popular repositories like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure
  • Integrated with Google Play, Android Studio, VS Code, and so on
  • Get translations from your internal team or Crowdin Marketplace agencies
Pricing: Starts from $40 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Free with Conditions
What Reviewers Say:
  • While Crowdin does deliver all the features needed for software localization, several users are asking for more flexible subscription plans to optimize their costs.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Crowdin on YouTube


Image obtained from Crowdin

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13. Weglot

Type: Localization Management System
Suitable for: Website Localization
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises, Companies with Websites
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Automatically detects and marks website content for translation
  • Compatible with popular content management systems like WordPress, Shopify, and even custom-built sites
  • Accounts for multilingual SEO, including titles, URLS, and metadata
Pricing: Starts from $23 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users generally reported a positive experience with the website integrations, SEO functions, and helpful support team.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Weglot on YouTube


Image obtained from Weglot

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14. POEditor

Type: Localization Management Platform
Suitable for: App Localization, Website Assets, Game Localizaiton
Who Uses It: Startups, Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Connects to your software using POEditor’s simple API for better workflows automation
  • Syncs with popular repositories like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure
  • Enables you to review the translation history of a string and recover previous translations if needed
  • Provides option to crowdsource translations for your software
Pricing: $14.99 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • POEditor is generally a good tool for web and mobile localization, but the overall experience could be a hit or miss depending on the user's specific needs.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of POEditor on YouTube


Image obtained from POEditor

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15. Pairaphrase

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents, Audio Files
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Supports online collaboration and basic CAT tools like translation memories
  • Provides translation API for enterprises to connect with their websites
  • Offers voiceover translation where you can upload a script file and then receive an audio translation in 18 different languages
Pricing: Starts from $2,199 per year, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • Some users have reported formatting issues with translated documents, such as changes in spacing, and poor detection of bullet points and numbered lists.

Read all reviews on Capterra
🎥 Watch s demo of Pairaphrase on YouTube


Image obtained from Pairaphrase

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16. GlobalLink

Type: Translation Management System
Suitable for: Mobile app, website, and gaming localization
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • supports integration with your content management systems, as well as e-commerce, marketing automation, and database platforms
  • offers glossary, terminology, and translation memory management
  • offers AI-enabled voiceover and subtitling for media localization
Pricing: Not public - contact their support for more details
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Majority of reviewers agree that the GlobalLink service team is prompt in helping them resolve issues, but there are minor hiccups with the translation management workflow.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of GlobalLink on YouTube


Image obtained from GlobalLink

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17. XTM Cloud

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Website Assets, Marketing Content, Documents
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises, Language Service Providers
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • send content to XTM Cloud for translation from your content management system or other platforms
  • you can translate using XTM standard editor for a clean view of content with all the basic translation tools at your fingertips
  • alternatively, you can also translate and review content in context using XTM Visual Editor to ensure everything is in place
Pricing: Starts from $61 per month, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • The mobile app for project managers is said to be a great supplement. However, a handful of users reported a need for an autosuggest feature in translation.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of XTM Cloud on YouTube


Image obtained from IXIASOFT

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18. OmegaT

Type: Translation Memory Software, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Freelance Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • Completely free, open-source translation software that can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Helps you translate faster with basic CAT tools like glossaries and translation memories
  • Active community support
Pricing: Free
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users say that OmegaT has neither the most aesthetic interface nor the selection of features found in industry-standard CAT tools. However, since it is open-source, one can modify the tool based on their needs and this offers great customization potential if you're tech-savvy.

Read all reviews on G2
🎥 Watch a demo of OmegaT on YouTube


Image obtained from OmegaT

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19. CafeTran Espresso

Type: Translation Memory Software
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Freelance Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • Developed by a translator for other translators who want to optimize their workflow
  • Boosts productivity with machine translation, smart autocompletion, and translation memory interface
  • Provides alternative clipboard workflow for unsupported file formats
  • Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux
Pricing: Approximately $95 per year, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • User reviews are generally favourable for this translation tool. While not a powerhouse brand, it's simple, stable, and carefully developed by a translator who understands what translators need. Some reviewers noted difficulties in importing files generated in another CAT software. This is crucial if a translator wants to do work for an agency or client that uses a different platform.

Read all reviews on ProZ | User Blog
🎥 Watch a demo of CafeTran Espresso on YouTube


Image obtained from CafeTran Espresso

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20. Matecat

Type: CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Freelancer Translators, Language Service Providers
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Free open source CAT tool offering unlimited users, projects, and storage
  • Connects you with a community of professional translators for any language pairs
  • Free technical support via email
Pricing: Free
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Since MateCat is a free software, users raised common concerns like lagging and privacy issues.

Read all reviews on G2
🎥 Watch a demo of MateCat on YouTube


Image obtained from Wikipedia

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21. Wordfast Pro

Type: CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Freelance or Professional Translators, Language Service Providers, Enterprises
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • Runs on Windows, Mac, Or Linux
  • Provides unlimited number of translation memories and glossaries
  • Option to set translation memories as primary or secondary reference and configure your own shortcut keys to navigate TM system @
  • Supports import of translation packages from SDL Trados
Pricing: $460 per license, more details here
Free Trial: Available
What Reviewers Say:
  • While the website mentions that Wordfast Pro support SDL Trados packages, some reviewers said that the tool is not quite compatible with SDL Trados. Beyond that, users generally agree that the software is a good introduction to CAT tools. Some also recommend beginners to try out the company's free entry-level offerings before committing to the Pro version.

Read all reviews on G2 | Capterra
🎥 Watch a demo of Wordfast Pro on YouTube


Image obtained from G2

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22. Swordfish Translation Editor

Type: CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents, Software Localization
Who Uses It: Professional Translators, Freelancers
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • open-source CAT tool that is free for personal use and modifications
  • offers flexibility for freelancers due to compatibility with exchange files from other commonly used CAT tools (e.g. SDL Trados, GlobalLink)
  • matches new content with past content using both translation memory and terminology databases
  • integrates external machine translation engines, namely DeepL, Azure, Google Cloud, MyMemory, and Yandex Translate
Pricing: $120 per year, more details here
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Compared to the big names on this list, Swordfish stands out as the budget-friendly translation tool that works on all operating systems. Users appreciate the excellent support and free updates, but one user pointed out that they can't edit their terminology base directly from the software.

Read all reviews on ProZ
🎥 Watch a demo of Swordfish on YouTube


Image obtained from maxprograms

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23. Transit NXT Professional+

Type: Translation Memory Software, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Translators, Translation Project Managers
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • translation memory database is not exclusively sentence-based, which means the full context of past content, as well as relevant translations, are processed and referenced to generate the best translations
  • suggests translations using dynamic "bubble windows" that pop up when you work on each new segment and disappear once you take action (accept or reject)
  • includes more than 20 standard import filters
Pricing: Not public - Contact their support for more details
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Users report that the translation software has a steep learning curve and is not widely used. However, the software does have customizable layouts and taskbars, which is good feature for translators but not necessarily essential.

Read all reviews on Proz
🎥 Watch a demo of Transit NXT on YouTube

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24. Cloudwords

Type: Translation Management System, CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents, Marketing Content
Who Uses It: Global Enterprises, Translators
Cloud or Desktop: Cloud
Highlights:
  • Provides huge storage for translation memories, scalable to your needs as your business grows
  • Integrates with various platforms and tools for marketing automation, enterprise file sharing, and content management
  • Enables you to collaborate remotely and track all edits of a document
Pricing: Not public - Contact their support for more details
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • The handful of users who left a review on G2 generally enjoy Cloudwords for its simplicity. A user mentions that the interface isn't really mobile optimized, which is a disadvantage if you're a project manager who is constantly on the go.

Read all reviews on G2
🎥 Watch a demo of Cloudwords on YouTube


Image obtained from Cloudwords

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25. MetaTexis for Word

Type: CAT tool
Suitable for: Documents
Who Uses It: Translators, Small Teams that work primarily in Microsoft Word
Cloud or Desktop: Desktop
Highlights:
  • Runs on Microsoft Word, granting easy access to translation memories, glossaries, machine translators, and other external resources within Word
  • Provides free software updates
  • Supports Word documents generated in SDL Trados (for specific licenses only)
Pricing: Starts from $45 per license, more details here
Free Trial: N/A
What Reviewers Say:
  • Freelancers love this inexpensive tool mostly because it can be used directly in Microsoft Word.

Read all reviews on ProZ
🎥 Watch a demo of MetaTexis on YouTube

5 Things to Consider before Committing to a Translation Software

First, let’s talk about essential features. Here are 5 questions that you must ask yourself before making a choice.

  1. Jump to the beginning of the list!

    CAT or Machine?

CAT, short for computer-assisted translation, is different from machine translation tools like Google Translate where artificial intelligence does all the work.

Want to read more about when, why, and how to use machine translation - here is a detailed guide about the best MT translation software that explains it all.

CAT involves the use of a software by a human translator to expedite the translation process. It’s much cheaper than hiring a person to translate a file from scratch. These software come with special features, such as allowing you to store and access past translations of commonly used terminologies.

While machine translation is generally cheaper, CAT is more nuanced, accurate and consistent, while providing versatile functions for management and collaboration. Thus, no matter what the nature of your business is, the choice between CAT and machine translation should be clear (here is even more detailed explanation about what are cat tools and their 6 essential features).

Let’s say you need to translate a PDF file for work. How you should go about it depends on several factors as detailed in this article. Or, needing to translate Office documents - here are detailed instructions about how to translate Excel, Word, and PowerPoint presentations accrodingly.

  1. Cloud-Based or Desktop?

Cloud-based translation tools are accessed online through a web browser like Chrome or Firefox. You can use them on any computer and even collaborate remotely with others on translations. Since they are web-based, you can also enjoy regular upgrades and bug fixes by the developer (usually at no extra cost).

However, as with anything that is stored online, there is always a risk that your data may be erased or stolen. Before committing to any web-based translation tool, make sure to
read their security policies on data protection.

On the other hand, desktop translation software must be downloaded and installed on your computer. While most do not require an Internet connection to be functional, you need to free up space on your computer for the installation. This also means that you can’t seamlessly switch between different devices to manage your translations.

Thus, when choosing between translation tools for PC and cloud-based translation software, you need to ask yourself 2 questions. Do I have internet access while working? Do I need to access the program from multiple computers? If your answers are “yes”, go cloud!

Besides types of translation software - curious to learn more about it? If so, make sure to read the latest 101 Translation software guide.

  1. Is it easy to use?

The right translation software should help you allocate your time and resources more efficiently. If it’s not easy to use, you and your team would need to undergo intensive software training, which… surprise surprise... takes time and money.

Luckily, you can try out most online translation software to see whether you feel comfortable with their interface. Even the paid ones offer free trials where you will have access to their full range of features.

  1. Free or Paid?

Free is good, but free almost always comes with strings attached. Want an ad-free workspace? Want to translate more than 5 pages a month? Want to save your files? Yeah, those are going to cost you extra.

You can always opt for a paid software where all the essentials and extras are bundled under a single price, which is more cost effective in the long run. Additionally, your workspace won’t get bombarded with messages asking you to “upgrade” this or that.

  1. Does the software provide technical support?

If translating documents is part of your daily work routine, the best translation software must not only be a convenient tool but a reliable system. When technical issues occur, having a responsive and dedicated support team can really enhance your productivity and user experience.

Thus, before choosing the best translation tool for yourself, remember to consider the accessibility of its support team. Do they have live support? What is the coverage of said support? With some desktop translation software, this may be limited to certain aspects of the product, such as licensing, whereas free translation tools may not even have proper support teams.

An ideal software support team should be able to guide you through procedures, updates, and everything in between.

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A Quick Overview

Here’s a summary of all 25 translation tools covered in this list:

25 translation software tools

Ultimately, no amount of research and reviews can beat your own user experience. Most translation software can be tried for free, so definitely make full use of that!

Happy translating,

Shu Ni

Shu Ni Lim
Shu Ni Lim

Shu Ni has worked as a marketing executive for various global consumer electronics brands before shifting her focus to content writing.

Now at Redokun, Shu Ni hopes to create meaningful content for multilingual needs by utilizing her expertise in linguistics and graphic design.

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