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The Principle of Translation Management Systems

What is a Translation Management System?

A translation management system (TMS) is a central platform that combines project and workflow management functions with utilities such as a translation memory, a terminology database, and a translation tool. The open architecture of a TM also enables the connection of content management systems, product information management systems, or machine translation systems via various interfaces.

Companies that operate in international markets need to make their contents available in various languages. From the creation to the publication, a text traverses a highly complex process. Often, several editorial staff work on a text before it is released for translation.

The translation may be assigned to a language service provider, who in turn selects and commissions freelance translators. Following the translation, the text is duly corrected and checked for quality before it is delivered to the company. Depending on the company and the number of target languages, the translation process may differ in terms of duration and complexity.

Many manual work steps are required if the translation process is not supported by the system. For example, it may be necessary to track the progress in tables and to send the files by e-mail to the language service provider. The LSP in turn will browse his database for suitable translators. It must be checked whether a particular translator is available for the order and whether he meets the technical requirements for processing the respective document formats. Questions concerning the text must be asked by e-mail, and the customer has no precise information on the project status.

Working without a TMS can easily lead to errors, e.g. if questions are overlooked, files are forgotten, or e-mails are deleted.

A translation management system helps to localize product and corporate communication in a faster, better, and more cost-efficient manner. For this, the TMS usually offers various modules, which are explained in detail below.

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Translation Management Systems


  • what a translation management system is
  • what you can use a translation management system for
  • which modules are part of a translation management system
  • how you can speed up your translation process by using a translation memory
  • how you can connect your PIM system and CMS to a translation management system