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Translation Project Management: Translation Assisting Tools

Last week, I had a question from one of our clients about translation management tools and what benefits these tools could add to his organization. But after a couple of minutes, I realized that he was speaking about a totally different thing. He was confusing translation assisting tools like translation memories, glossaries and style guides with translation management tools like Plunet, Projetex and other customized applications, like GPI’s Globalization Project Management Suite® (GPMS).

Translation Management Tools

So, to clear up this confusion, let’s define the meaning of translation management tools. They are applications or programs used by translation and localization companies to automate the translation process, eliminate repetitive and manual tasks and deliver greater efficiency. According to your company size, you will need to modify and integrate the management application, or even develop your own, then integrate it with a translator tool.

Translation Assisting Tools

Translation Assisting Tools

Next, we have translation assisting tools. These include glossaries, translation memories and style guides.


A glossary is a list of terms specific to a company’s brand, products and services. The first thing I think about when I receive a project with a large word count is getting a list from the client of terms that are repeated many times in the content. I also want to find out if there are any keywords that need to be translated or transliterated, this should be decided before starting the translation process.

Translation Memory

A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores previously translated segments, which can be sentences, paragraphs or things like headings and titles. The TM stores the source text and its corresponding translation in language pairs called “translation units”. Individual words are handled by terminology bases and are not within the domain of TM.

A common misunderstanding the clients have is that their translation is done automatically when it comes to TMs, so it’s important to clarify that TMs are used to reduce cost and maintain quality and consistency.

Style Guide

Style guides are sets of standards for writing and designing content. They will include things like the style, size and color of fonts, how words with multiple spellings (localize or localise) or abbreviations are handled, images, logos and taglines. Style guides are required to help maintain consistent branding for a client.


Appropriate usage of both translation management tools and translation assisting tools will allow the translation project to flow smoothly and achieve the client’s goal of creating effective, consistent and engaging multilingual content for their target audiences.