Translation Project Management: Translation Assisting Tools

August 31, 2017 Ahmed Mossad El-Saba

Last week, I had a question from one of our clients about translation management tools and what benefits these tools could add to his organization. But after a couple of minutes, I realized that he was speaking about a totally different thing. He was confusing translation assisting tools like translation memories, glossaries and style guides with translation management tools like Plunet, Projetex and other customized applications, like GPI's Globalization Project Management Suite (GPMS).

Translation Management Tools

So, to clear up this confusion, let’s define the meaning of translation management tools. They are applications or programs used by translation and localization companies to automate the translation process, eliminate repetitive and manual tasks and deliver greater efficiency. According to your company size, you will need to modify and integrate the management application, or even develop your own, then integrate it with a translator tool.

Translation Assisting Tools

Next, we have translation assisting tools. These include glossaries, translation memories and style guides.


A glossary is a list of terms specific to a company’s brand, products and services. The first thing I think about when I receive a project with a large word count is getting a list from the client of terms that are repeated many times in the content. I also want to find out if there are any keywords that need to be translated or transliterated, this should be decided before starting the translation process.

Translation Memory

A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores previously translated segments, which can be sentences, paragraphs or things like headings and titles. The TM stores the source text and its corresponding translation in language pairs called “translation units”. Individual words are handled by terminology bases and are not within the domain of TM.

A common misunderstanding the clients have is that their translation is done automatically when it comes to TMs, so it's important to clarify that TMs are used to reduce cost and maintain quality and consistency.

Style Guide

Style guides are sets of standards for writing and designing content. They will include things like the style, size and color of fonts, how words with multiple spellings (localize or localise) or abbreviations are handled, images, logos and taglines. Style guides are required to help maintain consistent branding for a client. 


Appropriate usage of both translation management tools and translation assisting tools will allow the translation project to flow smoothly and achieve the client's goal of creating effective, consistent and engaging multilingual content for their target audiences.

Additional GPI Resources

You may gain further insights into project management, global e-business, global SEO, translation, country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs and resources written by GPI:

Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our language and technology services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs.  You may request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

About the Author

Ahmed Mossad El-Saba

Ahmed is a native Arabic speaker from Cairo, Egypt. He has over 12 years’ experience in the translation and localization field working as a Hebrew – Arabic translator and editor. He has also held positions for language Testing Engineer and Localization Project Manager. Ahmed has extensive experience in handling large volume translation projects for software and document localization. He has worked for a range of translation and localization groups and companies including Microsoft and several governmental authorities. He holds a B.A. degree in Translation and Interpreting from Faculty of Alsun Ain Shams University and additionally is a certified Hebrew - Arabic translator with a High Translation professional diploma from the same faculty.

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