The Top 10 Best Machine Translation Software Reviewed

The Top 10 Best Machine Translation Software Reviewed

Machine translation software has become an essential tool for businesses, travelers, students, and many other users looking to communicate across language barriers. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right translation software for your needs?

The Top 10 Best Machine Translation Software Reviewed

This comprehensive guide looks at the top 10 best machine translation software on the market today. We evaluate key factors like accuracy, supported languages, features, pricing, and more to help you find the perfect fit.

What is Machine Translation?

Machine translation (MT) uses technology to automatically translate text or audio from one language to another. The goal is to enable fast, affordable translation across languages.

MT systems have advanced tremendously in recent years thanks to artificial intelligence and neural networks. This has greatly improved translation quality, making MT a viable alternative to human translation in many use cases.

The main benefits of machine translation include much faster turnaround, lower costs, and the ability to translate large volumes of content. This makes it ideal for applications like website localization, travel communications, gisting documents, and more.

How Does Machine Translation Work?

There are two main approaches used in machine translation today:

  • Rule-based MT: This uses linguistic rules to analyze the source text and convert it to the target language. It delivers more literal translations.
  • Statistical MT: This relies on machine learning and neural networks. By analyzing large bilingual text corpora, the system learns the statistical patterns of how words and phrases are translated between languages. This produces more natural, human-sounding output.

Benefits of Using Machine Translation

Some of the key benefits machine translation offers include:

  • Speed: MT delivers lightning-fast translations, processing thousands of words per minute.
  • Scalability: You can automatically translate documents, websites, and other large volumes of content.
  • Cost savings: MT is much cheaper than human translation, with some services starting from $0.003 per word.
  • Accessibility: Break down language barriers by translating content into multiple languages.
  • Gisting: Quickly get the gist of foreign language content.
  • Privacy: Keep translations in-house rather than outsourcing them.

How Much Does Machine Translation Software Cost?

Pricing can range quite a bit depending on the provider, features, and usage. Some ballpark estimates:

  • Basic self-service MT for gisting: Free – $20 per month
  • Advanced cloud-based API access: $100 – $500+ per month
  • Per word pricing: $0.003 – $0.10+ per word
  • Custom MT system: $5,000+ for setup and training

Factors that affect pricing:

  • Number of API calls or words translated
  • Features like customization tools
  • Number of target languages
  • Speed and response time
  • Custom MT system training and setup

Overall, MT delivers great value, with even advanced solutions costing significantly less than human translation.

Choosing the Best Machine Translation Software

With so many options to evaluate, here are key factors to consider when selecting an MT solution:

  • Quality: Look at factors like accuracy, fluency, and adequacy for your language pairs. Test it out.
  • Supported languages: Ensure your required language combinations are covered.
  • Features: Assess customization tools, formats, security, integrations.
  • Pricing: Choose a plan that fits your budget and usage needs.
  • Customization: Some services allow adapting the system to your content.
  • Ease of use: Consider the learning curve and integration efforts required.

The Top 10 Machine Translation Services

Now let’s dive into the top services and how they compare for businesses and individuals:

Best Machine Translation Software – Comparison Table

CriteriaGoogle TranslateDeepL TranslateMicrosoft TranslatorAmazon TranslateBingSYSTRANSmartlingAzure TranslatorCrowdinIBM Watson
Best ForFree web translations, Android appBulk document translationMS Office integration, bulk document translationAWS ecosystem, bulk translationFree web translationsCustom enterprise translationTranslation workflow managementAzure ecosystem integrationWebsites, app localizationCustom enterprise translation
AccuracyVery goodExcellentVery goodVery goodGoodVery goodN/AGoodVery goodExcellent
Supported Languages100+10+60+45+70+50+135+60+197+10 languages
PricingFree – $20/mo$59 – $399/mo$10 – $40/mo$15 – $300/moFreeCustom quoteCustom quote$10 – $200/mo$29 – $259/moContact sales
CustomizationNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYes
PlatformsWeb, mobile appsAPI, desktop editorAPI, web, MS appsAPI, AWS servicesAPI, webOn-premise or cloudCloud-basedAzure servicesCloud-basedOn-premise or cloud

Best Machine Translation Software Reviews

Below we provide detailed reviews of the top services:

1. Google Translate

The most popular free online translator from the tech giant. Offers fast gisting and good quality for common languages.

  • Key features: Instant web translations, mobile apps, camera translations, handwriting input.
  • Pricing: Free for web version. $10-$20/month for API access.
  • Reviews: 4.2/5 stars (Chrome Web Store), 4.7/5 (iOS), 4.5/5 (Android)
  • Pros: Fast, easy to use, good quality for common languages, free web version.
  • Cons: Limited language pairs, no customization of system.
Google Translate

Google Translate is the ubiquitous free translation utility used by millions worldwide. It offers quick gisting of text, websites, images, and speech in over 100 different languages.

Quality can vary but is generally quite good for common language pairs like Spanish, French, German and more. The Android and iOS apps make mobile translation a breeze.

For businesses, advanced features like API access, billing management, and custom glossaries are available for purchase. This makes Google Translate suitable for both personal use as well as integrating into commercial applications.

Google Translate

Key Features

  • Instant text and website translation
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Camera mode for translations of menus, signs, etc
  • Handwriting input for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages
  • Voice input and text-to-speech
  • Offline mode for mobile app translations

Why Consider Google Translate

With its combination of quality, speed, and extensive language support, Google Translate is a top choice for both personal and business use. The free web version makes it the most accessible translation option.

2. DeepL Translate

Leading premium solution praised for extremely high translation accuracy. Ideal for translating documents and websites.

  • Key Features: Excellent translation quality, terminology management, document translator desktop app.
  • Pricing: Free trial, then $59-$399 per month based on usage.
  • Reviews: 4.6/5 (Capterra), 4.5/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Very accurate, fluent translations. Customizable glossaries.
  • Cons: Limited language pairs, expensive for high usage.
DeepL Translate

DeepL is widely regarded as the most accurate machine translation service available today. It uses cutting-edge deep learning algorithms to achieve extremely high-quality output across 10+ language combinations.

The desktop Document Translator app makes translating Word, PowerPoint, PDFs and website text seamless. DeepL also enables managing terminology via custom glossaries.

Pricing starts at $59/month for Pro, going up to $399/month for the top Business plan. While not cheap, DeepL delivers superior quality translating documents, websites, and other large texts. It’s ideal for businesses and professional translation needs.

DeepL Translate

Key Features

  • State-of-the-art neural machine translation
  • Desktop app for translating documents
  • Manage terminology with custom glossaries
  • Usage analytics and reporting
  • 10+ language combinations including EN, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, PL

Why Consider DeepL

DeepL should be strongly considered by any business or user prioritizing highly accurate and fluent translations. It offers the best quality available today.

3. Microsoft Translator

Integrates with Microsoft apps and services. Good for high-volume document translation.

  • Key features: Real-time collaboration, document translation, Microsoft product integration.
  • Pricing: Free tier. $10-$40/month for advanced features.
  • Reviews: 4.5/5 (Capterra), 4.2/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Easy integration with Microsoft apps, collaboration tools, good quality.
  • Cons: Requires Microsoft account, limited language pairs.
Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products and services like Office, SharePoint, Teams, Edge and more. This makes it a great choice for businesses heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.

It offers a free online translator as well as customizable paid plans starting at $10/month. Quality is very good, on par with top services like Google Translate. The document translation functionality and collaborative tools also make Microsoft Translator suitable for professional use.

Microsoft Translator

Key Features

  • Real-time collaboration during translation
  • Document translation in Word, Outlook, Excel
  • Microsoft product integration
  • Customizable glossaries
  • 60+ languages supported

Why Consider Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator offers a quality translation solution tightly integrated into Microsoft’s ecosystem. It’s easy to use for those already invested in Microsoft products and services.

4. Amazon Translate

Translation service optimized for the AWS platform. Provides enterprise-grade capabilities.

  • Key features: Integration with AWS services, customizable engines, batch translation.
  • Pricing: Starts at $15/month, volume discounts available.
  • Reviews: 4.6/5 (AWS Marketplace), 4.5/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Optimized for AWS ecosystem, robust large-scale translation.
  • Cons: AWS account required, higher learning curve than alternatives.
Amazon Translate

Amazon Translate is purpose-built for AWS, integrating seamlessly with services like S3, Lambda, SageMaker and more. This makes it ideal for companies already using AWS.

It provides optimized batch translation capabilities and the ability to customize systems. Pricing is competitive, especially at higher monthly usage levels.

The deep AWS integration means a steeper learning curve than some alternatives. But for managing large translation volumes or incorporating MT into AWS apps, Amazon Translate is a top choice.

Amazon Translate

Key Features

  • Tight integration with AWS services
  • Customizable translation systems
  • Batch processing of large datasets
  • 45+ supported languages
  • Terminology management

Why Consider Amazon Translate

For companies using AWS, Amazon Translate streamlines integrating high-quality translation into apps and large content libraries. Customization provides enterprise-grade control.

5. Bing Microsoft Translator

Translator API allowing businesses to integrate Microsoft’s MT into apps and websites.

  • Key features: Real-time translation API, customizable system options.
  • Pricing: Free tier available. $10-$40/month for advanced usage.
  • Reviews: 4.0/5 (Capterra)
  • Pros: Easy to integrate API, good translation quality.
  • Cons: Requires Microsoft account, less features than competitors.
Bing Microsoft Translator

The Bing Translator API gives developers access to the translation capabilities behind Bing and Microsoft Translator. It allows building translation into products and workflows.

Pricing starts free for 2 million characters/month. Paid plans unlock additional features like customization, higher usage limits, faster speeds and more. Bing translates text into over 70 languages.

For light to medium translation needs, it provides a capable API solution. But DeepL, Google or Amazon provide more advanced capabilities for higher usage.

Bing Microsoft Translator

Key Features

  • Translation API with 70+ languages
  • Customizable translation options
  • Built on Microsoft Translator technology
  • Usage limits based on plan
  • Sample code provided to get started fast

Why Consider Bing Microsoft Translator

The Bing Translator API offers a straightforward way to integrate decent quality machine translation into apps and websites. It works well for light to medium usage needs.

6. SYSTRAN

Long-standing translation software providing specialized systems for enterprises.

  • Key features: Customizable engines, domain-focused translation, 50+ language pairs.
  • Pricing: Custom quote based on needs.
  • Reviews: 4.5/5 (Capterra)
  • Pros: Advanced customization options, domain-optimized systems.
  • Cons: Expensive, less user friendly, older tech.
SYSTRAN

SYSTRAN has been a pioneering force in MT for over 50 years. They offer a range of professional products tailored to enterprise needs.

Specialized modules are available for domains like eCommerce, tech documentation, customer support and more. SYSTRAN combines rule-based linguistics with neural MT for optimal output.

Pricing is customized based on needs. The technology leans more traditional compared to newer cloud-based platforms. But for advanced customization in enterprise contexts, SYSTRAN is a proven choice.

SYSTRAN

Key Features

  • Customizable MT designed around specific use cases
  • Optimized models for domains like tech, eCommerce, law
  • Hybrid rule-based and neural MT engine
  • On-premise deployment options
  • EN & 50+ foreign languages supported
SYSTRAN

Why Consider SYSTRAN

SYSTRAN brings veteran expertise in providing customizable translation systems optimized for large enterprises and professional use cases.

7. Smartling

Leading translation management platform featuring advanced collaboration tools.

  • Key features: Translation workflow software, visual context editors, collaboration.
  • Pricing: Custom quotes based on needs.
  • Reviews: 4.5/5 (Capterra), 4.6/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Powerful management platform, excellent collaboration capabilities.
  • Cons: Expensive, overkill for basic usage.
Smartling

Smartling goes beyond core translation to provide an enterprise-grade localization management platform. It allows managing global content and translation workflows efficiently at scale.

Robust collaboration tools enable teams to work together smoothly across continents and timezones. This facilitates large projects involving many translators, reviewers, developers and managers.

Smartling is likely overkill for basic usage. But the sophisticated translation software and team capabilities justify the premium pricing for enterprise organizations managing complex global content.

Smartling

Key Features

  • Translation management software
  • Visual context editors
  • Built-in collaboration with commenting
  • API and CMS connectors
  • Customized enterprise-grade plans

Why Consider Smartling

Smartling offers unmatched translation management capabilities. It brings order to coordinating large, complex translation projects across global teams.

8. Azure Cognitive Services Translator

Seamlessly integrate Microsoft’s translation tech into apps and workflows.

  • Key features: Real-time API, customization options, batch processing
  • Pricing: Free tier available. $10-$200/month for production.
  • Reviews: 4.1/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Easy-to-use API, Microsoft trusted technology.
  • Cons: Less competitive pricing at higher usage.
Azure Cognitive Services Translator

Azure Cognitive Services make Microsoft’s AI technologies easily accessible to developers. This includes the Translator API for integrating translation into apps and services.

Pricing starts free for limited usage. Plans scale up to handle large volumes with customization options. The API translates text into 60+ languages.

For lightweight public site translation, the free tier may suffice. At higher monthly usage, Google and Amazon offer more competitive pricing. But the Translator API makes it easy to quickly integrate Microsoft’s trusted translation tech.

Azure Cognitive Services Translator

Key Features

  • Real-time and batch translation
  • 60+ languages supported
  • Customization options
  • Built on Microsoft technology
  • Integrates easily into apps and websites

Why Consider Azure Cognitive Services Translator

The Translator API offers a fast way to add decent quality translation capabilities to an application or website powered by Azure cloud infrastructure.

9. Crowdin

Leading cloud platform for translating websites and applications.

  • Key features: Translation management system, API/CMS connectors, workflow automation
  • Pricing: Free for open-source. $29-$259/month for business.
  • Reviews: 4.6/5 (Capterra), 4.7/5 (G2)
  • Pros: Intuitive workflow automation, great collaborator features.
  • Cons: Learning curve for advanced features, pricey for large usage.
Crowdin

Crowdin is a cloud platform optimized for translating and localizing apps, websites, games and documents. It streamlines managing translations across content, languages and teams.

Flexible workflow automation saves time for project managers. Translators and proofreaders can work together in real time with built-in collaboration tools.

Crowdin is free for open source projects. Business plans scale from $29 to $259/month. While pricier than competitors at higher tiers, Crowdin provides exceptional translation management and workflow automation capabilities.

Crowdin

Key Features

  • Cloud translation management
  • Visual editor to manage context
  • Workflow automation
  • Real-time collaborator communication
  • API/CMS integration

Why Consider Crowdin

Crowdin provides robust software to streamline translating websites, apps, and large documentation libraries. Automation and collaboration tools ensure an efficient process.

10. IBM Watson Language Translator

Leverage IBM’s deep language technology for enterprise translation needs.

  • Key features: Custom model training, domain optimization, on-premise options.
  • Pricing: Contact sales for quote.
  • Reviews: 4.5/5 (TechRadar Pro)
  • Pros: Customization for specific use cases, industry-leading language tech.
  • Cons: Complex and expensive, overkill for basic usage.
IBM Watson Language Translator

IBM Watson Language Translator taps into IBM’s deep expertise in linguistics and natural language processing. It provides custom machine translation capabilities tailored to enterprise needs.

Custom systems can be trained using client data for maximum accuracy related to industry-specific terminology and content types. Models are continually improved through active learning.

Pricing is not listed and requires contacting sales. The extreme level of customization comes at a steep cost making it overkill for basic usage. But large global enterprises with specialized translation needs leverage IBM’s science-backed language technology and customization capabilities.

Key Features

  • Custom model training
  • Optimization by industry domain
  • Continuous active learning
  • On-premise deployment options
  • EN & 10 languages available

Why Consider IBM Watson Language Translator

IBM Watson’s advanced natural language processing allows training highly accurate custom translation models tailored to enterprise industry domains and content types.

FAQs About Machine Translation Software

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about machine translation tools:

Are machine translation services accurate?

Accuracy varies greatly. The top services like Google, Microsoft and DeepL achieve very good to excellent quality for common language pairs. But unusual language combinations or complex content can still pose challenges.

Can machine translation replace human translators?

Not completely. MT works best complementing human translators, not replacing them. It handles high-volume basic translation, then human experts polish and finalize the output. Certain uses like creative content are unsuited to MT.

How secure is machine translation software?

Leading services offer enterprise-grade security including encryption, user access controls and data privacy protections certified to global standards. Still, businesses with highly sensitive data may prefer on-premise MT deployment.

Can machine translation integrate with other tools?

Yes, APIs and middleware integrate MT with CMS, collaboration, and workflow management tools. This allows easy incorporation of MT into existing infrastructure and processes.

Conclusion

Machine translation solves the language barrier problem by automating fast, affordable translation across 100+ languages. Today’s AI-powered services like DeepL and Google Translate achieve impressively high quality and usability.

Look for platforms that meet your use case in terms of features, accuracy, languages, and price. Integrating MT where appropriate enables businesses to cost-effectively scale and localize content for global audiences.

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