Are you wondering if SYSTRAN Translate is the best translation service for your business? If that’s a resounding yes, you’re in the right place.
Choosing an exemplary translation service for your needs is an uphill task, especially if you’re new to this translation business.
First, there are countless translation services online, both free and paid. For this reason alone, choosing the right translator for your business can be confusing.
Second, do you spring for machine-driven translations or human translation services, considering both have benefits and downsides?
Thirdly, different translation services offer varying feature sets, making choosing the perfect one for your needs somewhat challenging.
Fourth, translation services aren’t built the same. Some tools offer better translations right off the bat. In the same light, some services are challenging to integrate with your applications.
Despite the above challenges, offering your website in multiple languages is extremely important in a globalized world.
A multilingual website lets you reach new audiences, offer better customer experiences, and increase revenue.
And for effective translations, you need a reliable translation service.
In this SYSTRAN Translate review, you will discover if the translation service is ideal for your business needs.
We will highlight multiple factors, including features, pricing options, customer support, et cetera.
Without further ado, let’s start!
What is SYSTRAN Translate? A Brief Overview
Before anything else, what is this animal we’re calling SYSTRAN?
Unbeknownst to many, SYSTRAN is one of the oldest commercially available machine translation services in the world.
The company was founded by Dr. Peter Toma back in 1968. That’s right, like chatbots, machine translation has been around for decades.
The company was established in La Jolla, California, to help the United States Air Force translate Russian text into English during the Cold War.
Besides the United States Department of Defense, SYSTRAN Translate did extensive work for the European Commission.
Apart from government bodies, SYSTRAN has previously provided technology for Google language tools, Yahoo Babel Fish, and the Dashboard Translation widget in macOS.
When they started, the company used ruled-based machine translation, which – while it worked back then – was less than perfect.
Over the years, SYSTRAN Translate has grown tremendously thanks to advances in machine translation technology. Now, the company uses its proprietary SYSTRAN Pure Neural Machine Translation tech to handle translations,
Presently, SYSTRAN is an award-winning cloud-based professional translation tool used by freelancers, startups, small businesses, and large enterprises.
Thanks to a unique set of translation tools, SYSTRAN Translate is a fabulous tool to boost productivity while keeping your translation costs low.
Company Reputation of SYSTRAN Translate
From the many rave reviews I found online, it seems these guys know what they are doing. Here are examples from softwareadvice.com:
I have used this software to translate websites for clients, [saving me] a lot of time. In addition to that, I love the fact that SYSTRAN Translate Pro recognizes dialects of Arabic and translates them, too. I strongly recommend it. – Nawal
I thought we were far from experiencing perfect translation from computer-assisted translation tools. If there is software that approximates that is [the] Systran Translate Pro [system]. In my short experience, I have not found any more precise software than this. – Allen
As of this writing, Systran Translator has over 100k users and an impeccable rating of 4.7/5.0 from over 1.6k reviews, meaning it’s alright to say you’re in safe hands.
Moreover, the SYSTRAN translation service is trusted by some of the biggest name brands, including Deloitte, Banque de France, Allianz, Lufthansa, and Continental.
If you ever want to visit them, SYSTRAN has headquarters in Paris, Tokyo, Daejeon, and San Diego.
Now that SYSTRAN doesn’t sound like an AI robot from the Interstellar movie, which features and benefits does the translation service offer?
SYSTRAN Translate: Key Features & Benefits
I always like to quip that a tool is only as good as the features it offers. If it has the options I need without feature bloat or clutter, it’s a definite winner in my book.
So, how does SYSTRAN Translate fair in the features department?
Easy to Use
First, the translation service is intuitive and easy to use. You can be up and running in three simple steps. Buy SYSTRAN Translate PRO, log in with your account details, and translate away.
You can use the easy-to-use web interface to translate 55 languages in more than 150 pairs. Even without an account, you can translate up to 5,000 text characters and three files a month.
Just paste or type your text in the source box, and SYSTRAN will kick in, translating your content in real-time.
The service supports all the major language combinations and even some local dialects.
Here is the list of the languages SYSTRAN supports.
|Source Language||Supported Translations|
|English||Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Korean, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu Vietnamese.|
|French||Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, English, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.|
|Korean||Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese.|
|Spanish||English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese.|
|German||Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), English, French, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish.|
|NOTES:||– You can translate from the source to any supported language. And vice versa.|
– Some language pairs aren’t supported. For instance, to translate Russian into Chinese, you must first translate Russian to English and then English to Chinese.
Other SYSTRAN Translation Options
To use the browser extensions, highlight the text you want to translate, right-click, and select Translate selection with SYSTRAN.
The extension will redirect you to the web interface where you can complete the translation.
Alternatively, click the browser extension icon to translate the entire page manually or automatically without redirecting to the SYSTRAN web interface.
For advanced users and developers, you can leverage the SYSTRAN Translate API to integrate the translation service into your internal and external applications.
These include customer service platforms, business intelligence, collaboration tools, knowledge bases, online chats, and more.
On top of that, you can take the quality of your translations to the next level with SYSTRAN translation models.
The SYSTRAN Model Studio allows you to create customized translation models trained with your company’s data.
This helps you to improve the quality and robustness of your translations significantly.
The best part is you don’t need AI skills to create a custom translation model. SYSTRAN offers an extensive catalog of pre-made models that you can customize to fit the bill.
Unfortunately, the company has long discontinued desktop apps for Windows and macOS. Their support team recommends SYSTRAN Translate PRO as a solution.
Each industry is different. The jargon that works for advertising probably won’t cut it for the education sector.
The language that works for the technology sector won’t apply in healthcare. I know you get the drift.
For instance, translating healthcare copy from English to Chinese might not have the desired effect. You might confuse the readers or, worse, insult them.
One more thing. Some distinct words, contexts, or styles in a specific industry don’t exist in the translation language.
SYSTRAN Translate understands these types of problems, especially for industry-specific translations.
As such, SYSTRAN Translate PRO lets you translate text and files in multiple domains, such as:
- And more.
Domain-specific automatic translations allow you to get even more accurate results because, as you’d imagine, language can vary significantly depending on industry and context.
To see success stories and real-world examples of SYSTRAN in different industries, check out their case studies page.
You’ll learn how the company helped companies such as Nestle, Adobe, MGI Group, and ADmantX, among others.
Translate Images and other File Formats
Suffice it to say that SYSTRAN Translate PRO supports unlimited text translations and more file numbers and formats (PDF, DOCX, XLSX, PPTX…).
You can even translate images and content in emails, compressed folders, JSON, HTML files, and more.
When you translate any of the document formats (be it docx, images, PDF, etc.), SYSTRAN keeps your file layouts. Or so the claim.
Not to worry, you can still edit the text documents after translation.
I tried it, and I think it’s a work in progress. Some of my final layouts were a bit all over the place 🙁 But it’s expected of machine translation.
I say this because the image translation feature leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s how the above PNG screengrab looks after I translated it from English to Spanish:
That isn’t so helpful. Now, is it? With current machine translation technology, you’re better off translating your images manually using a plugin such as TranslatePress.
Pro Tip: For the best image translation, check out How to Translate Images in WordPress [Complete Guide].
SYSTRAN Translation Accuracy: Is It Dependable?
The quick answer is yes, SYSTRAN Translate is dependable 🙂
Translating content into different languages isn’t as straightforward as we would all wish.
Whether you do it manually or use software, you’ll face some common problems with translation.
With the current level of technology, it’s unfair to expect 100% accurate machine translations, even from a company that has been around for over 50 years.
Still, nothing is stopping SYSTRAN in its tracks. They launched the Pure Neural Server to offer you “…human-quality machine translation at lightning speed.”
Their Pure Neural Machine Translation (PNMT) engine uses self-learning artificial intelligence to deliver high-quality translations.
In addition, you can add user dictionaries and train translation models to fine-tune translations in record time.
SYSTRAN PNMT technology is impressive and lets you generate translations that have a natural ring to them.
Multiple studies show that SYSTRAN Translate produces accurate (or usable) translations. Still, machine translation is far from perfect.
Even if the translations look good, it’s advisable to hire a professional to go over the translations and iron out kinks.
SYSTRAN Translate Integrations
Translation doesn’t have to start and end with web pages, files, or simple text. And the folks at SYSTRAN Translate know this.
They understand that you use multiple apps to run your business. This is precisely why they keep adding support for internal and third-party applications.
First, the company offers add-ins for Microsoft Office to translate MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint while working on the documents. In addition, you can translate emails without leaving Outlook. You can even use keyboard shortcuts!
Second, SYSTRAN offers integrations for computer-assisted translation (CAT) and translation management (TMS) tools. This allows you to streamline your translation workflows.
At this sitting, SYSTRAN supports the following CAT/TMS tools:
- Déjà vu;
- SDL Trados Studio;
Thirdly, this translation software also offers integrations for customer service platforms, workflow automation, and localization management.
Currently, SYSTRAN Translate supports:
- Zendesk – Add AI-based SYSTRAN neural machine translations to your Zendesk Chat and enhance customer service;
- ServiceNow – Translate instant tickets, online chats, knowledge base, and support emails;
- UiPath – Translate your workflow automation. Allows your robots to detect language and translate text and files faster;
- Crowdin – Translate your content and own localization like a boss.
Integrating the above apps with SYSTRAN Translate is as easy as A, B, and C. You (or your IT guy) can use the SYSTRAN Translate REST API to connect to more third-party applications.
Data Security and Privacy
In a digitally connected world, data security and privacy are huge concerns. Data breaches perpetrated by a few bad apples can bring down even the largest corporations, as you’ve probably seen on the news.
Businesses of all sizes generate copious amounts of sensitive data that still needs translation. This can be anything from internal memos, customer data, employee info, and more.
With over 80% of employees admitting they use non-approved SaaS applications to complete job tasks, you risk exposing sensitive translations and violating data compliance laws.
This is why it’s in your best interests to choose a translation service that’s committed to data security and privacy. One such service is SYSTRAN Translate.
For a company that provided Russian-to-English translations for the US Air Force 50 years ago, you can expect military-grade data security.
SYSTRAN has years of experience in enterprise translation software for large corporate clients and governments that have the highest expectations when it comes to data security.SYSTRAN
SYSTRAN Translate does not store or use your information for any other purpose than generating translations. Your confidential data remains in your company.
To ensure top-notch security, you can deploy the service on-premises or on SYSTRAN’s dedicated cloud server.
On top of that, SYSTRAN Translate is GDPR compliant. Also, it has NMT servers in Europe and the Americas to ensure your translations comply with local data protection laws.
SYSTRAN Translate Customer Support
SYSTRAN Translate offers several customer support options, as shown below.
You can reach them via phone, email, social media, or online chat. If you have an issue, you can also open a support ticket.
I was particularly impressed by how fast they responded via online chat. However, the support reps weren’t much help when I asked how to integrate SYSTRAN Translate with WordPress.
I asked thrice, each time talking to a different support rep. Unfortunately, nobody could tell me how to integrate SYSTRAN with WordPress.
All three reps kept referring the chat session to a “SYSTRAN expert,” who, sadly, never responded. As a last resort, the online chat rep said the person responsible would contact me via email within 24 hours. It’s been three days.
I searched everywhere, but apparently, they don’t have a WordPress plugin that would make integrating with your website effortless.
While the online chat was fast and responsive, it was frustrating to ask the same question several times in vain.
In addition, they kept coaxing me for my personal information while ignoring my questions. Also, they kept trying to upsell me their paid plans. Come on, it is a simple question, guys!
If you’d like to learn more about SYSTRAN Translate, they offer a blog, documentation, FAQ, knowledge base, and videos.
All in all, the support is above average, although you would expect support reps to have answers to simple questions at their fingertips.
SYSTRAN Translate Pricing Options
SYSTRAN Translate offers flexible pay-per-user pricing plans for individuals, developers, and enterprises.
Individual plans for freelancers come in three flavors, namely:
- Translate Pro Lite – Costs €4.99 per month/user when billed annually. The plan supports only one user and comes with 250,000 credits/user/month and ~150 pages of text/month/user;
- Translate Pro Plus – Starts at €13.99/user/month billed annually. The plan supports 20 users and comes with 1,000,000 credits/user/month, ~ 600 pages of text/month/user, and PDF translations;
- Translate Pro Premium – The plan will set you back €31.99/month/user with an annual commitment. You have 50 users, 3,000,000 credits/user/month, ~ 2,000 pages of text/month/user, SYSTRAN Model Studio, translation memories, and CAT tools/TMS connections.
For advanced users and developers, you have:
- Translate Pro API – A trial plan that lets you test the SYSTRAN Translate PRO API free for 14 days. You get 500k translation credits;
- Translate Pro API – Costs €8.99 per month for 1,000,000 characters and access to the API key;
- Translate Pro Infinite – €64.99 per month billed annually. You get Translate Pro Premium, API key, ~4,500 pages of text/user/month, and 7,000,000 characters. Well, and everything else SYSTRAN Translate Pro offers.
For large corporate clients with heavy translation needs and the highest security standards, contact SYSTRAN for a custom quote.
Individual and developer plans come with a 14-day no-credit-card-required trial to test the waters. As usual, always go for a plan that suits your business.
SYSTRAN Translate Pros and Cons
SYSTRAN Translate is a formidable translation engine, without a doubt. It has brilliant features, solid security, and high-quality translations, all at affordable prices. But is it right for you?
- Easy-to-use interface;
- Browser extensions;
- Multiple integrations;
- High-quality translations thanks to SYSTRAN’s Pure Neural Manual Translation (PNMT) technology;
- Wide language support;
- Customizable machine translations thanks to post-editing, translation models, and memories;
- Free trial.
- No free plan;
- Support could use some work;
- Difficult to integrate with MS Office (good thing you have Microsoft Translator);
- No desktop apps;
- No mobile apps;
- Messy document layouts after translation (especially images);
- While easy to use, there is a slight learning curve;
- It could support more languages.
How SYSTRAN Translate Stands Out in the Translation Industry
Like many other translation services, SYSTRAN Translate has its benefits and shortcomings. That said, how does it compare with popular services such as DeepL and Google Translate?
SYSTRAN Translate vs DeepL
DeepL is a relatively newer translation engine compared to SYSTRAN. Both feature intuitive web interfaces, meaning they are easy to use instantly.
SYSTRAN Translate supports more languages than DeepL. If you require many language pairs, DeepL has nothing on SYSTRAN.
On matters of accuracy, both services offer usable translations since they both use neural machine translation technology.
DeepL has a free tier that’s perfect for light use. You can translate your content for free, provided you don’t exhaust the limits. We cannot say the same of SYSTRAN Translate.
Remember that if you exhaust the limits of the DeepL free tier, it can get more expensive than SYSTRAN.
Unlike SYSTRAN Translate, DeepL comes with desktop and mobile apps for Android and iOS.
SYSTRAN Translate vs Google Translate
Google Translate is one of the most popular web translation services and the default choice for many businesses.
Unlike SYSTRAN Translate, Google Translate has a free version that lets you translate 500k characters/month.
You’d need a paid plan to translate more than 5k characters with SYSTRAN Translate.
Google Translate supports over 130 languages, blowing SYSTRAN Translate out of the water in this regard.
In comparison (and considering the generous free tier), Google Translate is cheaper than SYSTRAN Translate.
However, SYSTRAN Translate delivers better translations than Google Translate. In addition, Google Translate doesn’t support customizable and industry-specific translations.
Lastly, Google Translate offers apps for Android, iPhone and iPad.
A Case for TranslatePress
I must agree that SYSTRAN Translate is a formidable translation engine with lots of potential.
However, it has some shortcomings. For instance, you will have a hard time trying to integrate it with your WordPress website, especially if you don’t know how the REST API works.
Here’s where TranslatePress comes in.
If it’s your first time, TranslatePress is a powerful yet easy-to-use WordPress translation plugin that anyone (no matter the skill level) can use.
The plugin has a fully functional free version that helps you to translate your WordPress site on the front end using a visual translation editor.
It has full support for WooCommerce, visual page builders, complex themes, strings from plugins, SEO, multiple languages, URLs, and more.
However, TranslatePress doesn’t support the SYSTRAN Translate engine as of yet. The plugin delivers automatic translations using DeepL and Google Translate. After that, you can edit your automatic translations manually to fine-tune everything.
SYSTRAN Translate is a powerful translation engine with a lot to offer. You get a robust system backed by over five decades of industry experience.
It’s easy to use and offers adequate features to handle translation for freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations.
It’s an award-winning service with a proven track record of high-quality translations. Additionally, SYSTRAN is a cost-effective solution compared to some competitors.
However, it has some disadvantages. For instance, it doesn’t offer a free plan, and is relatively more challenging to connect with WordPress.
What are your thoughts? Please let us know in the comments. If you found this SYSTRAN review handy, please consider sharing.