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How to choose the best machine translation tool for your business

What you need to know about choosing machine translation software: 

  • Choosing the right machine translation tool is vital to a strong localization strategy 
  • Important considerations include data security and document format handling  
  • The right AI translation tool can improve ROI and increase localization cost efficiency 
  • Discover translation and localization best practices by downloading our report  

How many languages does your company operate in? Probably quite a few. As the global marketplace becomes increasingly interlinked, communicating in multiple languages is a necessity for businesses to thrive. This is where translation and localization come in, allowing companies to authentically connect.  

However, 87% of marketers from our recent study stated that having to translate content into multiple languages can be both costly and difficult. Cue machine translation—which makes a big difference by offering an accurate, efficient, and cost-effective method to localize companies' content. But choosing the right machine translation vendor is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it can have a significant impact on your company's localization strategy and overall workflow.  

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key considerations when selecting the best machine translation tool for your organization. Remember, with the right choice, your business not only benefits from accurate translations, but also from a seamless, secure, and efficient localization process.  

What should you consider when choosing a machine translation service?  

Illustration of machine translation services imagery, documents, a lock, and a laptop in heaxagons

With the help of Regina Corso Consulting, DeepL recently conducted a survey of marketers in the United States, France, Germany, and Japan—specifically targeting those responsible for translation and localization. With the results of this survey, we created the report: The state of translation and localization in 2023-2024: insights, challenges, and opportunities.   

Thanks to this research, we discovered a host of helpful insights. For example, 75% of respondents agreed that localized content significantly boosts customer engagement—while a staggering 96% reported positive ROI (return on investment) from localization efforts.   

Clearly, localization has a significant business impact—meaning that selecting the right machine translation software is critical. According to our research, the most important considerations include:  

  1. Document format handling: 23% of respondents noted the importance of a vendor's ability to handle various document formats, such as XML, HTML, etc.  
  2. Data security: 20% of respondents highlighted the critical role data security plays in the selection process. Clearly, how companies ensure the protection and privacy of their and their customers' sensitive information—think data encryption, ISO 27001-certified data centers, and GDPR regulations—is important. 
  3. API offerings: 20% of marketers surveyed indicated that the availability of an application programming interface (API) is an important consideration. After all, APIs are ideal for integrating translation services into existing workflows, streamlining operations, and improving efficiency. 

Interestingly, 80% of respondents work in the technology industry. This may indicate that the importance of the above considerations is impacted by the specific needs of tech companies, where document translation, data security, and API availability play a greater role.  

How are companies working with machine translation vendors?  

There’s more than one way to work with—and benefit from—a machine translation tool. Our survey revealed three different approaches that marketers are using to work with machine translation vendors:   

  • 44% work with a technology partner who uses the vendor 
  • 33% partner with an agency that employs the vendor's services 
  • 23% contract directly with the vendor 

How do these options affect your business? 

Illustration showing machine translation technology choices with layered web pages and arrows

Our findings surrounding the use of machine translation suggest a trend toward collaboration, with most marketers opting to team up with experts. With this in mind, businesses should consider the benefits of using a technology partner/agency versus contracting directly with a machine translation vendor. 

On the one hand, opting for a technology partner or agency allows companies to benefit from their expertise and existing relationships with vendors. On the other hand, working directly with vendors is a better choice for those seeking increased control over the translation process and a more cost-effective solution.  

For this option, DeepL is an ideal choice—as its accurate, efficient AI translations help to streamline the localization process. 

Want a deep dive into translation and localization? 

Choosing the right machine translation vendor is just one step in the translation and localization journey. With the help of the right tool, your company can streamline localization workflows and operate more efficiently. 

To learn more about translation and localization best practices and how AI translation tools play a role in enterprise localization success, download our report today.