How to translation tools work

13 / 5 / 2021

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You can easily find a translation tool online but it is essential to understand that there are two kinds of translation software that you can use. It is important to understand them to manage expectations and to get the right output you need. These two are Translation Memory Software and Machine Translation (which is also known as basic Translation Software). What’s the difference? Translation memory software is programmed to remember human translations. This is often used by translators as it aids them in their work and efficiently makes translation faster by providing the same output on similar and repetitive texts on documents. Machine Translations on the other hand is exactly what it is, a translation done by machine. It provides quick translation and enables users to understand the gist of the text. Sometimes it provides output word per word and only follows the machine’s program.

translate tool sample online

When a software translation tool is made, it uses algorithms and uses its database of words to pull out the translation. Algorithms help translate the rules and syntax of a language so that the words from the database will fit in a sentence.

Discussing Further – How it works

Every language has a certain rule or a formula to use words. For example, in the English language, there is a Subject-Verb agreement rule to be applied before a Verb is added in a sentence. The same rules are programmed in Software translators to accurately produce the right sentence in a quick second. This also allows translations of simple and basic phrases to be predicted by the tool.

Is it the same with memory translators? The answer is yes and no. Yes, it does contain all the rules of the language and the database of words however, an additional process comes with memory translators. Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) software splits the content into small segments to be able to manage and build additional information on its database. These segments are the basic semantic unit of the sentence which is translated and remembered by the software for future reference, stored on the database, and form in as Translation memories. For example, if the whole content has the phrase “the first unit,” and translates as “La Primera Unidad” in Spanish, CAT software will remember this translation and automatically suggests it in the next sentence that involves the same phrase. The user can either accept this suggestion or change it as how they see it fit.

translating using mobile app

With Translation Memories, consistency and efficiency are achieved for users. However, it is important to note that accuracy can only be attained if the translation memories are based on a particular client or a specific user. Every terminology and jargon used in that industry should also be programmed the way it is understood within the industry. Technical terms can mean different things in different industries. For example, the word “Seam” in fashion means two pieces of fabric sewn together. For an archeologist or a geographer, “seam” can mean an underground layer. If the word is used in different contexts, the word can also have different meanings.

What are the possible problems in using translation software?

When machine translators are used, it should be expected that literal word per word translation does not usually match in context. Most problems exist in translating idioms, puns, hyperbole, or adynatons as some of these require cultural references. Sometimes, abstract ideas and synonyms can also be harder to translate as context cannot always be explained in one word.  

Additionally, each language has its cultural adaptation of its language which is also known as “slang.” Slang is the informal version of the words and phrases in the language. It is usually used in speaking than in writing however, some companies adapt and use these slang words to reach their target markets. Slang becomes a problem for translation tools because it creates a whole new context and meaning to the actual word. Generation gaps are also factors for slang differences and may not always be met by machine translations.

translate button

Will translation software ever be perfect?

The only way that translation tools online and offline can achieve accurate and perfect output is when our technologies rise to the point of artificial intelligence and computer becomes conscious like humans. Using software will solve many translation efficiency problems but will still need a human touch for the final output to be “perfect.” Though when you think about it, even human translators can commit mistakes too, so, in a way, there’s no such thing as “perfect” rather, there’s always “acceptable.”

How to translate documents for free

Using DeftPDF online is one way of getting translations done for free for any text content and documents. There’s no need to copy+paste or convert your files in certain formats anymore since the tool supports various file formats and will translate directly on your uploaded document. To use the tool here are the steps:

Step one: Go to and select translate tool

Step two: Upload your document. A preview will appear on the screen.

Deft PDF file upload

Step three: Select the language of your document and the language you prefer it to be translated into. Click translate then download.

DeftPDF translate PDF tool

Got more things to do than translating? Don’t worry because you can still edit, split documents, merge, crop, watermark, sign, convert, and more using for free!


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