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Translation Management Systems 101: What Is a TMS and How to Choose One



By now, you might have heard about translation management systems, especially if you are running a global business. Translation management systems have risen in popularity as useful global tools for assisting businesses in expanding their presence in international markets.

But, what is a translation management system? How do they work and how can you use them in your company? We thought we would unpack the basics of a TMS and help you understand how you can choose one for your company.

What is a Translation Management System?

Let’s start with a definition of what a TMS is.

A translation management system is a system developed to manage the process of localization and translation of language assets. It is also commonly referred to as translation management software and aids greatly in managing translated assets at scale.

It is a system that essentially supports complex translations by automating the whole process. It takes what was once a manual operation and streamlines it, essentially reducing costs and improving the whole customer experience. It will basically centralize and automate the management of the translation that involves several collaborators working together without any geographical restrictions.

Why Do You Need a TMS?

So, why would you need a system like this in place in your business? Naturally, if you are a global company, you will not only want your website and content to be in your audience’s language, you will actually want to sell the products to them using emotive copy.

The fact is that when you are translating a large amount of content, it can become difficult to manage the many different languages and dialects. Think about it, getting the right expressions and local jargon can be tricky if you simply don’t know it.

A translation management system helps businesses overcome these challenges by organizing and managing their translated assets. A TMS will go a step further than just translating text, your brand identity will be kept intact while speaking directly to the audience in their native language.

Traditionally, translations were done by dividing the text into blocks, or “strings”, and communicating with a language service provider (LSP) by email to translate. However, as businesses have grown, these processes have become highly ineffective and automation tools have needed to step in to translate large amounts of text.


What Are the Benefits of a TMS?

Clearly, the benefits of a TMS are numerous. From being able to address your customers directly and sell your products to them in a language that they understand to saving time and money, it seems like the whole package.

But, what are some other benefits of a TMS?

It is scalable

Let’s face it, the more content you have, the more you have to translate. If you have hundreds of pages of content to translate, you will want to remove the manual labor of it and ensure a shorter time to market.

A translation management system automates much of the translation process to enable scalability regardless of how much words or language pairs you add to it.

It is versatile

Most of the systems allow for integrations of common content management systems. They are able to tie in with content management platforms, eCommerce solutions, knowledge bases, and more, making the deployment of new language translations effortless.

It is simple and allows for collaboration

The right TMS will allow for custom workflows and automation processes, making it ideal for your company. The entire translation progress can be monitored in real-time and will actually notify you when it is ready to be used.

It is brand loyal

Most TMSs can help your brand stay consistent across markets . Brand messaging and tone are key to keeping your company uniform around the world, so make sure to use a TMS that comes with strong terminology management.

In Conclusion: How Do You Choose the Right TMS?

In conclusion, with all of the platforms out there, how do you choose one in particular?

First, look for one that suits your budget. Make sure you do not low-ball. However, as you will want to present quality content, you will need a bigger budget. Next, look for a system that will be able to reflect your brand. As we mentioned, brand uniformity is key when it comes to a global presence. Lastly, look for a system that streamlines the processes and keeps you in the loop at all times.

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