There is such a variety of translation management systems (TMS) available on the market, with such a broad expanse of tools, integration capabilities, and design elements that it makes it extremely difficult to choose a TMS to work with. To help combat this, my team members and I created a small pilot project designed to compare the ability to create and manage multilingual subtitles for a video in two TMSes: Wordbee and XTM.
We approached this project by trying to simulate a real-life situation where this comparison would be necessary. We chose a client, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and tried to analyze the TMSes from the point of view of having to recommend one or the other to MBARI to use for a subtitling project. To do this, we established 7 business requirements that we thought would be important to both the localization specialists and the client. These requirements were:
- Visual Context
- Tools & Assets
- Customizable Workflows
- User-Friendly Interface
- Customer Support
We then assigned a weight to each of these requirements from 1-10 to indicate how critical that requirement was to the success of the project. For example, since MBARI is a non-profit, the price was rated higher than it may have been for a different client. Since the project was specifically about subtitling, the ability to have visual context while a translator is working was also weighted heavily.
We decided that two team members would test each TMS. We each chose a video to subtitle, and then went about trying to translate and subtitle in our respective TMSes. We would then assign a grade for each of the seven business requirements from 1-5 based on how well we thought the TMS performed in that category. The overall score for each TMS was then calculated by weighing the individual scores and generating an average.