5 Free Apps for Translators
Translation has experienced a digital revolution in recent decades. Computers and mobile devices allow translators to work anywhere with an internet connection. Information technologies have become vital to the sector, thanks to the development of machine translation apps, word processing, web browsers with language tools, digital dictionaries and many others.
Some of these solutions are not yet part of the work routine of many professional translators. This is because of a lack of information, or sometimes because the best-known solutions are too expensive.
These software tools increase productivity, improve coherence and consistency and enable translators to complete good-quality projects sooner. With these issues in mind, here are five free apps that are essential for translators.
Let’s start with computer-assisted translation (CAT): apps such as SDL Trados Studio, Wordfast and memoQ are now standard in this industry thanks to their quality. However, they are very expensive. The free OmegaTapp is based on Java technology. It has all the essential functions of a CAT tool, as it allows you to create translation memories and access external glossaries and spelling checks. Itis available in dozens of languages and is compatible with many of the leading commercial apps.
No translator can do without word processing apps , but they don’t always have access tocommercial software such as the almost-inevitable Microsoft Office or iWorks suite (exclusive to Apple systems). A good alternative is LibreOffice, a productivity suite that is compatible with commercial solutions, but is free of charge and available to all operating systems.
For translators needing a free solution for subtitling , we suggest Jubler. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, supports the main subtitle formats and works with most video and audio formats.
Most official documents today – invoices, receipts, legal documents, COVID-19 certificates, etc. – are in PDF format. When these documents are translated, they have to be authenticated and include the translator’s digital signature. The eSign PDF app is used a lot by translators to include digital signatures on final documents. It is safe, allows you to request signatures from third parties and complies with the law on digital signatures.
All translators have been through this situation. The source document is only available in PDF and the text can’t be copied with the right formatting. The online ZAMZAR Converter app converts PDF documents into text: Word, iWorks, plain text or open formats like Open Text Document… there’s no lack of choice!