Computer-assisted translation. Some open source tools

Computer-assisted translation
At the hour de transcribe a text from one language to another, professional or amateur translators find in itto technology a reliable allyand. In the case of non-professionals often turn to machine translation technologies The result of which is not entirely perfect, but which is often enough to understand the meaning of a text or make it understood in a conversation. We are talking about services like Deepl Or the translators of Bing and Google.

Computer-assisted translation programs, also known as TAC programs, are tools that help translators and linguists to translate the text into another language.
That is then the main difference  with online machine translation services, computer-assisted translation programs help humans to translate the text and maintain a reusable database of terms, phrases and their equivalences in other languages.

Components of a program for computer-assisted translation

  • Translation memory: Complete sentences and their equivalents in other languages ​​are stored in it.
  • Word store: Single words and their translation into other languages ​​are saved.
  • Dictionary: Save the words, their meaning, the correct way to write them and their synonyms.
  • Automatic translation engine: It allows saving the labor of the human professional.

How this type of program works

Computer-assisted translation software divide the content into small segments of text according to rules established by the professional translator. These segments are compared to the saved text segmentss previously in translation memory.

Some of these 4 types of consequences are sought:

  1. Context.
  2. Exact.
  3. Diffuse
  4. Of fragments.

When you get the match is inserted into the translation field.

In case of not finding it, the program can provide some suggestionscias or allow the professional translator online database search.

Everytime that a new translated segment is generated, it is stored in the translation memory.

Finally, the translated text can be saved in different formats.

Some open source tools


Es a tool Translation written in Java so it can be used on Windows, Linux or macOS. Its simple interface makes it easy to translate complex documents.

Some features

  • Work with multiple files in multiple formats.
  • An unlimited number of translation memories, glossaries and dictionaries can be consulted simultaneously.
  • Users can customize file extensions and encodings.
  • Segmentation based on language, file format and regular expressions.
  • Online machine translation services can be accessed.


It is a tool which allows you to concentrate on the task of translating. It can be used to convert, count, manipulate, review and debug texts. It includes powerful features that help translate accurately and quickly. Also, it has a clean user interface, which makes it easy to use.

Some features

  • Simple and intuitive design.
  • Viewing comments from other translators.
  • Spelling check in both the original and the translated text.
  • It can be used on small screens.
  • Support for multiple file formats.
  • Quick and easy navigation within a file.


A software that will delight free software fundamentalists. Created and maintained by the KDE project,  is a computer-assisted translation system with which you can translate OpenDocument files (* .odt). The program extracts the text to be translated and converts it into the .xliff format. Once translated, it saves it again in .odt format.

.Xliff (XML Localization Interchange File Format) is an XML-based format created to be the standard for software translation jobs. Its use was approved by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. An international non-profit consortium that is oriented to the development, convergence and adoption of e-commerce standards and web services.

Some features

  • Extensive editing features.
  • Flexibility in document navigation.
  • Syntax checking ability.
  • Statistics collection function.

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