Localization Basics: What is a Translation Management System (TMS)?

Last Updated May 27, 2014

What is a Translation Management System (TMS)?

TMS stands for Translation Management System.

Translation Management Systems are programs that support complex translation tasks.

Most translation projects involve multi-person teams, possibly located in several different countries, and TMS can bring their different functions together so it seems as if they’re working side-by-side.

Here are the main features of a translation management system:

Workflow Management

Workflow management involves automating processes, managing documents, facilitating communication between the different team members, and generally speeding things up and making them more efficient and less costly.

If you’re working with a content management system (CMS) for regularly publishing to a website or similar, a TMS can automatically grab new content and assign it to translators so that your multilingual audience stays up-to-date.

Translation Memory Management

Translation management systems centrally maintain a database of previously translated phrases and fragments, commonly referred to as a translation memory.

In an environment where translation volume is high, translation memories will not only save money but will also help maintain consistency by providing translators reference to previously translated material.

Translation memories are not new, but since translation management systems maintain the memories centrally and on the fly, the process is a lot more streamlined in comparison to offline computer assisted translation tools.

Terminology Management

Similar to translation memories, terminology databases hold translations of terms and branding.

It is critical to maintain and use a terminology database to ensure consistency in branding across regions and languages.


Like any other business process, companies want to know how much work has been done, how much money has been spent and how things stand in comparison to planned outputs.

A TMS can help gather all this data with ease since all work is managed centrally through the same system.

Integrated Machine Translation

Most modern translation management systems offer API connectors for popular machine translation providers.

You may not be considering machine translation now, or maybe it is not a good solution for the content you translate today, however having the ability to easily add machine translation to your workflow when needed is always a nice benefit.

In need of localization services?

Summa Linguae Technologies is a leading provider of localization services for top technology companies. Contact us below if you’re ready to find out how we can help you expand into new markets.

Related Posts

Summa Linguae uses cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy.

Learn More