7 of the Best Tools for Novice Translators

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If you have “hung out your shingle” as a freelance translator or have just been employed by an organization to provide translation services, good for you. This is a growing field, and, as you gather more experience and skill, you will have lots of opportunities for career growth.

As a novice, you will always encounter some challenges and even make mistakes. But you will learn, and you will gather greater skill and knowledge as you move along. Be patient with yourself, of course. But also become familiar with and use the tools that are out there to make your job easier and make you look far more professional.

Here are just seven tools that you will find really helpful.

  1. MEMOQ

Here is a tool that evolves as you “live and learn.” It works with up to 100 languages, though you will only be using the pairings in which you have fluency. Here’s what this tool offers:

  • You can build your own base of expressions
  • You can add “ready-made” translations to your personal database
  • You can take advantage of the pre-programmed dictionaries within the app
  • You can try it out for free for 45 days before you fork out any money
  1. TermWikiToolbar

Here’s a tool that lets you build your own dictionary of terms that you often use and/or that you have a tough time remembering. It supports about 90 languages and will also act as a translator for words or phrases in those languages. The added perc? It’s free.

  1. Trados Studio

This is basically a translation memory tool. It will store previously translated pieces into segments. So, when you start on a new document, it will suggest wording or phrases that you may want to re-use. This is a really useful tool if you are translating in a specific category – legal, business, professional, education, etc. The tool recognizes when a segment you are translating directly relates to the one you have previously used.

  1. DeepL

This is what is called a “context dictionary.” And it is actually a search engine of sorts – one that searches through huge databases of previously translated work. It can match phrases, terminology, etc., with a text you are working on and provide the correct translation and syntax.

  1. Professional Translation Services

There will be times when you are truly stumped and need help from someone more experienced than you. Find a list of the top translation sites from a reputable translation service review site, contact one that excels in your category of work, and get an expert to help you. There is nothing shameful about this – you are still in the learning phase of your career.

  1. LogiTerm

This tool falls into the category of terminology management software. It can be really valuable when you are searching for terms, phrases, idiomatic expressions, and such in your target language. It houses separate databases for each language, and searching is easy.

  1. Lingvo-Online

A very cool tool that lets you converse with natives of your target language to get help and verify that your phraseology is correct. You can search for specific word synonyms or, better, idioms and phrases that you need to translate accurately. And your conversations with natives of the language can be invaluable. You can help them too.

These Will Get You Started

These are just seven of the many tools available to you as you continue your learning and expertise. Be aware, though, that not all tools are “created equal.” For example, Google translate may be a great tool for a traveler but never for your type of work. Before you use any tool, research what it actually does and make sure it’s going to give you the quality you need.

Author Bio: Eric Wyatt is a researcher and writer on all things related to academic and professional writing. As a global traveler, he has a specific interest in how words and phrases translate into various languages. In his spare time, Wyatt supports global environmental causes and experiments with international gourmet cooking. 

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