ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary: Definitions of Main Terms, Concepts

What is Translation Management System (TMS)?

A translation management system (TMS) is a system that supports complex translations. It allows companies to centralize and automate the management of localization workflows involving several collaborators that can work simultaneously without geographical restrictions. This is also known as translation management software.

Initially, translation software was primarily built for linguists. The shift to TMS puts more control in the hands of managers while providing a fluid and flexible solution for team collaboration across departments.

Translation management systems are not just translating texts; these systems help you maintain brand vision and identity by contextualizing the translated content. In TMS, most of the translation is made automatically with the help of machine learning or AI, and then native speakers revise it for context.

TMS helps organizations boost productivity and reduce costs by centralizing linguistic assets. It also:

  1. Automates processes. Translators and project managers perform repetitive, time-taking tasks daily. A TMS enables customized workflows and the automation of tasks that saves valuable time.
  2. Monitores workflows. Project tracking is a critical resource. A TMS provides this through the main dashboard centralizing critical information such as translation progress or missed deadlines.
  3. Facilitates collaboration. A TMS provides efficient real-time communication and collaboration for translators and enterprises working on the same project.

There are different kinds of translation management systems. They generally include three main components:

  • Computer-assisted translation tools (CAT)
  • Workflow automation tools
  • Project/team management and reporting

The type of translation management system you choose depends on a few things:

  • The number of languages and regions that need to be represented
  • The volume of language assets that need to be managed
  • The number of parties involved in collaborating on the localization project
  • The number of platforms that require localization (i.e., smartphone app, website, help desk)
  • Requirements regarding brand tone and style

Most TMS vendors offer a user trial period where you have a certain amount of time to try out the system, learn its basic functionality, evaluate usability, and get a general feel for its value.

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