Categories: Web Development

Top 6 Translation Management Tools for Software Builders

As a business, we’re regularly trying new products and tools to help us with our software development.

Especially when building customer-centric products, the software text matters. Providing software in our customer’s native language impacts the user experience a lot. 

Therefore, we evaluated different platforms for software localization and wanted to share some of our findings.

Why Translation Management matters

Translation Management, in short, deals with the process of transferring text from one language into another one. The focus is to have the equivalent message in the target language as in the source one. The translation process juggles proper grammar and syntax rules for each language.

There are many reasons why Translation Management is important for your product’s customer experience. Think of the following ones:

  • Having localized software is more intuitive and easier to use. This results in improved customer satisfaction and makes entry to new markets easier. More happy customers mean increased sales.
  • It leads to fewer customer support requests as people understand your applications better. A big time saver for many teams.
  • It allows software creators to make their products more attractive in new markets because it brings one truth to the forefront: English is just another language, and it’s a big, big multilingual world out there.

Best-in-class translation management tools

Translation management tools help software developers to automate the process of translating text from one language to another. A great translation management tool helps optimize the translation speed & quality continuously as new features are shipped.

During our research of the best-in-class translation management systems, we ended up comparing the following ones:

  • Smartling: Among the leading translation management platforms and language service providers
  • LingoHub: For us – one of the hidden champions in software translation management.
  • Phrase: formerly known as PhraseApp, they are among the dominant players
  • Crowdin: A traditional localization vendor 
  • Transifex: A known translation management tool, mostly used by companies for app + website translations
  • Lokalise: One of the trending software vendors with a strong focus on collaborative translation management

Smartling

Smartling – among the leading translation management systems – has two different businesses. First, they are a technology provider for translation management. Second, they do offer translation services for anyone. As other vendors (such as LingoHub) offer translation services, it’s not a unique factor; however, Smartling focuses more on that part.

Why should you consider Smartling?

  • Great for large teams and enterprises
  • Among the largest vendors on the market
  • Custom workflows and job automation

Pricing

Smartling does not offer any public pricing information right now. According to the company’s website, pricing is tailored to how much you translate and the number of integrations you use.

Having no public plans available rather means a much more enterprise-focused pricing.

LingoHub

LingoHub – recently named as a high performer in 2020 by G2 – is one of the hidden champions in translation management. With a strong focus on software makers and developers, LingoHub allows anyone to store, manage, and automate all software translations – no matter if a desktop application, web app, or consumer-facing mobile apps. 

With its strong support for various file formats, technologies, and frameworks, we enjoy LingoHub’s openness for developer teams. Also, the neat integration in our development pipeline streamlines all translation efforts.

Why should you consider LingoHub?

  • Developer-first tooling & continuous translation approach
  • Easy-to-use tool with support for major technologies & frameworks
  • Professional translators for hire at affordable prices
  • Attractive pricing for teams of all sizes

Pricing:

Pricing for teams start at €29 per month (if billed monthly) – including unlimited project and 3 user seats.

Phrase

Phrase – formerly known as PhraseApp – is one of the dominant and oldest software solutions on the market. With Phrase, users can easily collaborate on translations for any sort of application. 

Why should you consider Phrase?

  • Comprehensive toolset for any translation management
  • On-Premise solutions
  • Attractive pricing for personal projects / small teams

Pricing:

Pricing for teams start at $17 per user per month, including 1 project. Pricing for Translation Memory and Machine Translation starts at $51 per user per month.

Crowdin

Similar to Phrase, Crowdin is a well-known market player in translation management. Crowdin is a cloud-based localization management software, originally founded in 2009. Originally from Estonia, Crowdin has 1mio+ registered users worldwide.

Why should you consider Crowdin?

  • Open translation management system for developers
  • Hire external translators through Crowdin
  • Comprehensive toolset for designers, developers & translators 
  • Extensive version management and branch workflows.

Pricing:

Pricing for single users starts at $19 per month. Team plans start at $150 per month.

Transifex

Transifex is a cloud-based translation management system that enables teams to collaborate on translation projects. With many integrations and supported technologies, Transifex is among the most open systems in the industry. Transifex could be used with your internal translators, a translation agency, or even with crowdsourced translators. While these things are a big plus, Transifex nowadays seems to be more focused on large enterprise customers.

Why should you consider Transifex?

  • Open platform with many integrations and supported technologies
  • Simple UI for both translators and developers
  • Translator marketplace

Pricing:

Transifex’s pricing is among the more expensive ones, starting at a minimum monthly fee of $139. 

Lokalise

Lokalise is one of the monument leaders and fast-growing players in the translation management market. Lokalise provides a web application for the entire software localization process. With recent support for Sketch and Figma, Lokalise puts bigger focus on supporting design teams, too.

Why should you consider Lokalise?

  • It works great for managers, developers and translators
  • It works not only for software products, but also for documents and IoT
  • Lokalise supports translation tasks for designers

Pricing:

Pricing for teams starts at €110 per month (if billed monthly) – including 10 user seats and unlimited projects.

How to choose a translation management tool

With many different translation management tools available, choosing the right one isn’t easy. In the following lists, we’d like to give you an overview of the essential features that are relevant when localizing your software. Your feature requirements will vary depending on the technology and setup you have. 

Let’s start with the translations features:

  • Translation Editor
  • Machine Translation
  • Translation Memory
  • Term Base / Glossary
  • Style Guides
  • Translation History
  • Quality Control
  • Communication Hub
  • Translation Ordering

And you’d also want to check these management features:

  • Translation Workflow
  • Reports & Activity Dashboard
  • User roles

How the technology is supported and integrations may be an important consideration too, you can look out for these areas:

  • Source files management
  • Code repository
  • Design plugins, such as Sketch or Figma
  • Supported technologies
  • API

Final thoughts on pricing

The pricing of each translation management tool can be tricky, and it can get a bit overwhelming. Therefore, we put together this comparison table of the described translation management tools to give you some help. Pricing is based on our website research and shows exemplary pricing requirements for different needs.

Many vendors do also have limits regarding the number of hosted words or text translated. As this highly depends on the nature of your own project, this limit has not been included in the pricing comparison above.

Actionable feedback on software translations

Managing and maintaining your software in various languages can be tricky. The mentioned translation management tools help you organize all your languages more efficiently, and allow software developers, product managers and translators collaborate in one place.

Launching your first or second language can be an exciting project and including real users as early as possible, definitely takes away a lot of the guesswork and errors. 

In addition, you also need to make sure to measure the customer satisfaction and what impact the translations had on your user’s experience.

This is where Usersnap comes into the play. Usersnap helps you collect feedback on translations, as well as ratings on how satisfied your users are with your application. Many companies like Tableau and many others are using Usersnap for managing their translations.

Simply head over and give Usersnap a free try.

Hopefully, you found this review of translation management tools useful. Have you already experienced one or the other tools? Let us know and share your experience with us!

Thomas Peham

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