Translation tools

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This page lists tools to help with translations. The tools for software are not directly usable for translating scientific articles or abstracts, but are listed as they could be a starting point for developing such tools and are often free software, so we could build on them.

Machine translation

  • Deepl: at least for the languages I know (English, German, Dutch) the most accurate machine translation tool.
  • LibreTranslate LibreTranslate translates less good, but is free software, has an API and can be self-hosted.
  • Lingva scrapes through Google Translate and retrieves the translation without using any Google-related service, preventing them from tracking. Google will naturally still store the texts.
  • You can find a collection of Language Technology tools at the European Language Grid, all translation tools are machine translation tools.
  • The EU has a Machine translation for public administrations tool, it can also be used by universities and small and medium-sized enterprises with registration.
  • No Language Left Behind. Maybe it is a bit early to call this a tool, but the code is available and various datasets can be downloaded. Does not sound particularly user-friendly yet, but it translates over 200 languages into each other. Background article.

Language identification

Computer Assisted Translation

These are tools that import and export typical document formats as well as bilingual exchange formats for review and translation, such as XLIFF.

  • MateCAT is a free and open source online CAT tool. It’s free for translation companies, translators and enterprise users.
  • OmegaT, a professional fast libre tool written in Java. Multiple users can translate together with conflicts resolved like in a GIT code repository.
  • SDL Trados Studio Commercial tool with a large market share.
  • memoQ proprietary software.
  • Across propriety software. Freelance translators can acquire the Basic Edition of the single-user version for free.

Software translation tools

These are tools for the translation of software, typically short texts, integration with GIT repositories and reading and writing standard file formats for the internationalization of software/homepages.

  • Weblate is a libre web-based translation tool for software.
  • TranslateWiki Software translation tool from Wikipedia, also used by others.
  • Transifex is a proprietary, web-based translation platform. It targets technical projects with frequently updated content, such as software, documentation, and websites, and encourages the automation of the localization workflow by integrating with the tools used by developers.
  • Crowdin is a commercial workflow, but free for Open Source and Academic use.

Translation workflows

Multilingual dictionaries

These are dictionaries which offer translations of words and terms between two or more languages. Some specialized multilingual dictionaries, which focus on scientific, medical, academic, and other terminology are listed below. All entries include a link to a freely available digital version. Many general digital dictionaries can be found at MultiDict. Building and maintaining such dictionaries is paramount for translating scientific studies; text analysis software like Sketch Engine makes this easier.

Bilingual dictionaries

Arabic / اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ

  • English/Arabic scientific dictionaries can be found here, here, and here.
  • French/Arabic scientific dictionaries can be found here and here.

French / Français

  • A French/English scientific dictionary is available here
  • French/Arabic scientific dictionaries can be found here and here.

Haitian Creole / Kreyòl Ayisyen

  • The latest edition of this English/Haitian Creole Science Dictionary is not digitized, but an earlier edition is available online here.
  • A Haitian-authored English/Haitian Creole medical dictionary is available here. An earlier american-authored dictionary is available here.

Russian / русский язык

Spanish / Español

  • An English/Spanish scientific and technical dictionary is available here.
  • An English/Spanish medical dictionary can be found on Internet Archive, though a newer edition of the same dictionary is available elsewhere.

Dictionaries in 3 or more languages

Sign languages

  • This Google Sheet collects translations of basic astronomical terms into several different global sign languages.
  • Here is a free copy of HANDS IN THE STARS: Encyclopediac dictionary of astronomy for Sign Language Francs (LSF).

Other

  • Scribe is an editing tool for underserved language Wikipedias. This tool will allow editors to have a base to start with when translation is not possible.
  • ISIDORE is a multilingual (English, Spanish and French) search engine providing access to digital data from the Humanities and Social Sciences (SSH).
  • ELSST, the European Language Social Science Thesaurus is a broad-based, multilingual (Danish, Dutch, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish) thesaurus for the social sciences.
  • transcheck, a LaTeX package to help produce translations by adding useful macros and checks to ensure that nothing is accidentally skipped.
  • FreeDict, a group that makes many dictionaries with free licenses.
  • BASE, a search engine for Open Access literature, has an option for multi-lingual search. Its power is limited by the vocabularies used.