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The 7 Best Translation Tools for e-Commerce

Reading Time 17 mins | March 4, 2024 | Written by: Anne Geyer

Today’s world economy is more global than ever, and translation tools play an important role in this! Companies that operate or want to operate in several countries need to be able to communicate their (product) information accurately in different languages. However, it is not always easy to produce high-quality translations, especially when dealing with large volumes of text or specialized terminology. But how can companies get the translations they need in the fastest way possible? 

For many companies, manually translating product descriptions is not practical. According to Meningo, copywriters write about 300 to 500 words per hour. This is far too slow for a fashion company, for example, which has thousands of product descriptions that are only up-to-date for a limited time. That's why many companies turn to translation tools. However, not every translation tool delivers accurate translations.

In the following, we will look at, 

  1. which translation tools are suitable for use in e-commerce companies for commercial texts, 
  2. examine the different types of translation tools  
  3. highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each type of tool.

Table of Contents

  1. How do Translation Tools Work?
  2. The Benefits and Challenges of Using Translation Tools
  3. A Comparison of the 7 Best Translation Tools for E-Commerce
  4. Conclusion

1. How do Translation Tools Work?

Most translation tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning to translate text from one language to another. The text is copied into the input field in the source language and the tool translates it into the desired language.

The machine translation process usually includes the following steps:

  1. Analyzing the source text: The translation tool analyzes the source text and breaks it down into smaller units such as words, phrases, and sentences.
  2. Identifying language patterns: The translation tool identifies language patterns and grammatical rules to "understand" the text in the source language.
  3. Translation of language patterns: The translation tool translates the language patterns and grammatical rules into the target language.
  4. Assembling of the translated text: The translation tool assembles the translated language patterns to create the complete translated text.

There are several factors that affect the accuracy of machine translation. For example, the quality of the training data on which the translation tool is based is critical to the accuracy of the translation. In addition, it is more difficult for machine translation to translate into a language that is more complex. Context is also crucial, as the meaning of words and phrases often depends on their context. Machine translation tools have difficulty understanding context, which sometimes results in inaccurate translations and minor syntactical errors. However, serious, meaning-changing translation errors can also occur, which can prove fatal, especially in commercial use.

The Translation With Data-to-text Software

In addition to machine translation, there are also translation tools that work on a data-to-text basis. These use machine learning and natural language processing technology to automatically create text based on data. Unlike traditional translation tools that are based on translating words and phrases, data-to-text platforms like AX Semantics use the semantic rules of the text project. These are created in a language-independent manner and can therefore be applied to any language. The resulting synergy effects lead to a very fast localization of content into other languages.

Data-to-text translation tools are particularly useful for companies that have large amounts of data and want to quickly create text from it, such as product descriptions. Data-to-text software allows companies to implement more efficient content creation processes while reducing content creation costs. Because data-to-text software works on the basis of rules and specifications, translation errors that distort meaning are eliminated.

So companies need to carefully consider which type of tool is best suited for their specific needs. In the next section, we will look at the benefits of translation tools in general.

2. The Benefits and Challenges of Using Translation Tools

There are many benefits to using translation tools to help companies communicate more effectively and efficiently on a global scale and sell products in different languages around the world. This helps to drive business growth and to expand into new markets. 

The use of the tools results in faster and more cost-effective translation than manual translation. This is especially beneficial when translating recurring texts such as product descriptions. The use of translation tools is therefore an important factor in reducing translation costs

In addition, when translating with data-to-text software, the quality of the translated texts is consistently high because the translators first translate the basic structure and the software then translates the texts according to the specifications and semantic rules. This has a positive impact on efficiency through:

  • Improved workflows
  • Increased translator productivity 
  • Faster translation times 

As a result, translators can complete more projects in less time.

Although there are many benefits to using traditional translation tools, some of which are free, there are also some challenges that companies should be aware of when using training-based tools. These include:

  1. Quality assurance: The quality of machine translations can vary widely, and even hybrid translation tools require careful review by human translators. Companies are responsible for ensuring that the quality of the translation meets their requirements and standards. Incorrect wording and poor expression can damage a company’s credibility and turn off customers.
  2. Context sensitivity: Translation tools often have difficulty capturing the context of phrases and sentences. This can lead to incorrect or inaccurate translations, especially for texts with cultural nuances or wordplay. Therefore, human review is necessary to ensure that the context is taken into account.
  3. Security concerns: The use of translation tools can also raise privacy and security concerns, especially when confidential or proprietary information is involved. Organizations have a responsibility to ensure that they are using translation tools that are secure, reliable, and protect data.
  4. Language diversity: The availability of translation tools can vary widely by language. Some languages may be better supported than others, and the quality of translations may vary between language pairs. Therefore, it is important for organizations to ensure that they are using a tool that meets their specific language requirements and that the content is adapted for different cultures and regions.
  5. Training and integration: The use of translation tools often requires training and integration into existing workflows and processes. It is then important to train employees accordingly and to integrate the tool seamlessly into workflows.

In conclusion, companies should be aware of the challenges associated with the use of training-based translation tools. All in all, translation tools help to streamline translation processes, reduce costs, and improve translation quality. However, it is advisable to carefully consider which tool is best suited to yourspecific needs.

3. A Comparison of the 7 Best Translation Tools for E-Commerce

Choosing the right translation tool has a significant impact on the quality and efficiency of translation work. Therefore, it is important for companies to make an informed decision and find the best possible solution for their translation needs. There are various translation tools that produce translations in different languages from a source text. Below we present 7 tools that are used and proven in the e-commerce industry.

1. AX Semantics

AX Semantics Website

AX Semantics is the only data-to-text software on this list and therefore works differently than the other translation tools. This results in some differences in functionality and use. In the proper sense, multilingualism is only one aspect of the software. Users can use it to generate scalable texts in different languages and styles, targeting different audiences and integrating seamlessly into existing workflows. Texts can be generated, optimized or customized in seconds.

AX Semantics is a data-driven content automation platform that enables companies to generate high-quality content, such as automated product descriptions, in virtually any language. Whether German, English, French, Finnish or Chinese - 110 languages are supported in the Natural Language Generation (NLG) software.

In addition to linear translation, multilingual text generation is also possible. Semantic rules in a project are created language-independently and can therefore be applied to any language required by the user. These synergistic effects mean that content can be localized into other languages extremely quickly with AX Semantics. 

In addition, AX Semantics offers AI-powered machine translation available in 29 languages, making it possible to translate a project into another language even faster.

Pros and cons of AX Semantics:

+ -
very efficient, automatically generates texts in different languages structured data required
easy scaling of large translation projects, without compromising quality or speed initial setup required
highly consistent and error-free translations  
reduces costs by minimizing human translation efforts  
suitable for a wide range of translation needs, from product descriptions to sports reports  
significant time savings compared to manual translation processes  

2. DeepL

Deepl Website

The DeepL translation tool is based on artificial intelligence and uses neural networks to automatically translate texts from one language to another. Unlike conventional statistical translation tools, DeepL is based on a so-called "deep learning" approach, in which the software analyzes millions of texts and learns how words and sentences are best translated. 

However, this can quickly lead to errors, as shown by the localization problem of AX Semantics customer AKKU SYS: In addition to some humorous mis-phrasings, there were also far-reaching translation errors. For example, the DeepL translation into Italian turned the word "advantages" into the word "disadvantages". In addition, other problems with the DeepL plugin arose, which finally caused AKKU SYS to stop using the tool. The basic version of DeepL is free of charge. Integrations, five or more document translations per month, and access to the glossary are not free. DeepL can translate texts into up to 29 languages.

+ -
often provides more accurate translations than other training-based tools currently supports only a limited number of languages compared to other tools
can translate even lengthy texts in seconds well suited for general translations, but has difficulty translating specific terminology
user interface is designed to be intuitive and easy to use does not allow human correction or intervention in the translation process
  questionable privacy policy, as DeepL analyzes and stores all typed text to improve neural networks and translation algorithms

 3. Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Translate is a free online translation tool from Google that uses machine translation. The tool can translate words, phrases, documents, and even images or web pages from one language to another. Google Translate is easy to use and supports a wide range of languages, making it a useful tool for international communication and information exchange.

The platform can translate text in 133 languages, taking into account not only the pure vocabulary, but also the syntax and grammar of the language to achieve the most accurate translation possible. However, the quality of the translations is not always perfect and can vary depending on the language pair and the complexity of the text.

+ -
easy integration into websites or e-commerce platforms, simplifying  implementation inaccurate translations, especially of complex or idiomatic expressions
free access cannot account for cultural differences or nuances, which can lead to misunderstandings
  text is sent to Google, which may raise privacy concerns
  no direct control over the translation, content may not have the desired quality or accuracy

4. Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator is a translation tool developed by Microsoft. It allows users to translate text, phrases, or entire documents from one language to another. It supports a wide range of languages and is used by companies, agencies, educational institutions, and individuals to translate content and share information. 

Microsoft Translator can also be used independently of Microsoft products. This works through an API that allows translation features to be integrated into applications. In addition, Microsoft Translator is available as a standalone app for iOS, Android, and Windows, and it can be used directly in the web browser. It is also possible to upload translations directly to the Microsoft Translator website or import a translation file in Excel format. The translation tool can translate text in more than 100 languages and is integrated into several Microsoft products.

+ -
translates sensitive data securely and privately without sending the text to external servers advanced features and integrations with other applications available at additional cost
integrates with other Microsoft applications and services, such as Microsoft Office and SharePoint, to facilitate collaboration and management of multilingual content provides good translations, but limited ability to customize for specific industries and business models
offers a variety of customization options to meet specific company or industry requirements, such as adding specialized terminology or creating custom translation memories inaccurate or incorrect translations may occur, especially with complex or idiomatic phrases

5. Reverso

Website Reverso

Reverso is a multilingual translation tool that allows you to translate texts, words, phrases and sentences into 26 languages. The tool uses a combination of machine translation and human editing to achieve higher accuracy and quality of translations. 

Reverso offers a user-friendly interface with features such as context search, grammar checking and verb conjugation tables. It also has a pronunciation feature for translated words and phrases, which can be useful in some circumstances. Reverso can be used free of charge and is available on various platforms, such as web, iOS and Android.

+ -
free of charge no customized translations possible, no guarantee of accuracy or quality of translations, especially when translating technical terms or marketing content
available on various platforms such as web, iOS and Android may be slightly slower in delivering  translations, as they are edited by a human translator
user-friendly interface and functions no special support for the needs of e-commerce companies, such as integrations with e-commerce platforms or special features for product descriptions and online sales

6. Lingenio

Website Lingenio

Lingenio specializes in language technology and offers a wide range of products and solutions. It uses advanced technologies such as neural networks and machine learning to deliver accurate and natural translations. Although Lingenio supports only four languages (German, Russian, Chinese and French), it offers speech recognition and speech synthesis. The four languages result in eight different possible combinations, although translations from Chinese to French or from English to French are not possible.

The tool also offers additional features such as grammar checking, spell checking and synonym search to improve the quality of translations. Lingenio can also be customized to specific requirements and industries to achieve better results for specialized translations.

Lingenio is available as a desktop application for Windows operating systems and as a web application. The tool also offers special solutions for companies that need customized translation and language technology.

+ -
can be customized to specific requirements and industries, provides good results for specialized translations number of supported languages limited to English, German, French and Chinese
additional features such as grammar checking, spell checking and synonym search paid tool and may be too expensive for some companies
available as a desktop application for Windows operating systems and as a web application only translations between a few language pairs

7. MyMemory

Website MyMemory

MyMemory is an online translation tool that allows users to translate texts, documents, web pages and other content into over 140 languages. It is based on a machine translation algorithm that is trained using translation databases and models. It is the largest translation memory in the world, containing 4,401,923,570 segments of human-translated text (as of 5/3/2023). It collects translation memories from users in the European Union and the United Nations, as well as domain-specific multilingual web sites. 

Users can search for translations, download them, and contribute to MyMemory by editing entries or adding their own “memories”. When human translation is not available, MyMemory provides machine translation technology. The tool supports a wide range of languages and also provides a spelling and grammar checker.

MyMemory also has an API that allows developers to integrate the tool into their own applications and systems. MyMemory is available for free, but there are also paid options with additional features and higher accuracy.

+ -
free basic version quality of translations may be unreliable as the tool is fed by a community of volunteers
easy API integration with established e-commerce platforms collects and stores submitted segments long-term, whether the  submission is public or private
  restrictions, such as limits on the number of characters and the number of translations per day, are impractical for companies
Translation tool Accuracy/ Quality Integration Number of languages Human intervention necessary? Costs
AX Semantics Very high Easy integration into own systems Over 110 languages available Yes Chargeable, individual offer
DeepL High API 29 Yes Chargeable
Google Translat e High API, browser extension 133 Yes Free of charge
Microsoft Translator High API, Microsoft products Over 100 Yes Free of charge to chargeable
Reverso High Website 26 Yes Free of charge to chargeable
Lingenio High API 4 No Chargeable
MyMemory Varies API, Website Over 140 Yes Free of charge

4. Conclusion

The use of translation tools can be of great benefit to e-commerce companies. They enable faster and more efficient translation of texts into different languages, which is especially beneficial in global markets and when internationalizing your business. They can also help reduce costs, save time, and streamline workflows.

However, there are also some challenges to using translation tools, such as quality assurance, context sensitivity, security concerns, language diversity, and training and integration. Businesses  should be aware of these challenges and select a tool that meets their needs.

Overall, translation tools are an effective way to overcome language barriers and promote business globalization. By using reliable and high-quality translation tools, as well as careful planning and monitoring, companies can maximize the benefits and minimize the challenges.

Anne Geyer