translate5: Open Source Translation System - Cloud translation, review, post-editing and terminology platform

spiros · 1 · 1034


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translate5: Open Source Translation System - Cloud translation, review, post-editing and terminology platform
translate5. Open source translation system. - translate5

Sound important? I think it actually might be. I'm talking about the translate5 Consortium that was just recently announced. I've profiled translate5 a number of times: first as an open-source review tool specifically developed to review machine-translated files in a flexible and easy-to-use interface (see edition 234), and then later as a tool that had slowly morphed into a more comprehensive translation environment or even translation management system with several language service providers (LSPs) financially supporting the development of specific features that they needed (see edition 315). Now this has all entered yet another more formalized stage in which ten LSPs have come together to form a consortium that decides together how the tool will be developed even further and what will be included.

So, again, why is this a big deal? Well, it's the first successful consortium of small and middle-sized language service providers (unless you take into account the short-lived and failed OpenTMS initiative by FOLT in 2008 and 2009). Why do I know that it will be successful? Because there already is a working tool that at this point will "just" be optimized.

It's also a tacit acknowledgment that the kind of LSPs who are uniting for this effort really have no other way to compete with in-house technological advances by their large counterparts. This innovative collaboration might very well make them more independent from the technology offering which ironically is often sold by those competitors once they pool their resources.

Realistically speaking, the consortium members -- which are mostly from the DACH region and include Transline, t'works, Supertext, World Translation, beo, oneword, Schmieder, Transmission, Smartspokes, and SwissGlobal -- will still have to offer an assortment of other translation management systems to serve all their clients, but they will likely use translate5 if the choice is up to them or if the clients' systems allow for its use. Most importantly, though, they will be able to reduce the size and cost of their licenses for the third-party technology.

The consortium's set-up is extremely pragmatic. Every consortium member pays a certain percentage of their annual revenue into a common fund for ongoing development. Votes for new features are allotted according to the size of the contribution. According to Marc Mittag, the owner of the company that does the development work for translate5, the members' meetings have been very cooperative and collegial without any sense of competition. (And check this out: They actually drew up a contract between them without the help of lawyers -- hard to imagine here in the US, but it sure sounds great.)

The tool is open-source, so anyone can download and use it (with the exception of some select features). For other LSPs, however, it might not be completely attractive since, unlike the consortium members, they won't be able to personalize the interface with their own logo and will therefore have to work in a tool with the logos of the consortium members. (This, by the way, does not apply to non-LSPs, so translation buyers can download the tool and customize its look and feel.) New consortium members are welcome to join (unless other existing members object).

Somehow this story makes me feel kind of proud of our interconnected and creative world of translation.

— The 324th Tool Box Journal

« Last Edit: 24 Apr, 2021, 14:29:22 by spiros »


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