Free Software for Translators

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Free & Open Source Software for Translators

What is Free Software?

"Free Software" is software released according to one of several licenses that protect the user's right to study, modify, and redistribute the source code. When thinking of free software, it is best to think of freedom, as in "Free Speech", as opposed to "gratis/no price" as in "free pizza". Nonetheless, the vast majority of Free Software can be acquired at no cost.

Please see the Free Software definition.

What is Open Source Software?

Open Source Software is software created according to a development model that entails open sharing of the source code and development by a community of developers, in which distribution of the source code is required with distribution of the software. As such, the source code for such software, and, thus, the software, are acquirable at no cost.

Please see the Open Source Definition.

Useful software: CAT Software:

  • OmegaT is a Free/open source, cross-platform CAT tool, functioning with a broad variety of industry standard file formats, including MSOffice® files, html, OpenOffice, Trados® ttx files, and various software localization file, among others.
  • OmegaT+ Free translation tools suite for Computer-Aided Translation/Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT). A translation processor with translation memory, project support, bitext aligner/converter, TMX validator, and others.
  • Anaphraseus is another Free/open source CAT tool which functions as a macro in OpenOffice, creating "unclean" doc/odt/rtf files and using a Wordfast® like plain text translation memory (but can import/export standard .tmx translation memories).
  • Java Open Language Tools is a full-featured XLIFF Translation Editor and a set of XLIFF file-filters for a number of documentation and software file formats.
  • Virtaal is a FOSS CAT tool that runs on Linux and Windows. It supports a number of file formats including: XLIFF, Gettext PO, TMX and Wordfast TM. It includes advanced XLIFF placeholder handling and has a plugin system for TM, MT and other features.


  • bitext2tmx, alignment/converter, to create TMX from bitext of existing translations.
  • Rainbow, a comprehensive suite of utilities for preparing files for translation in a CAT tools.
  • POEditor is a free web-based translation tool that permits import from po, pot, xls, xlsx files. It allows collaborative work through open projects and project assignments, using a user friendly interface.
  • Pootle is a user-friendly web portal that allows online translation, work assignment, gives statistics and allows easy volunteer contribution. Pootle can be run as an Internet server or locally on an Intranet (for individual work, team work, etc.).
  • Translation Toolkit on, various translation tools.
  • TDict is a client, a dictionary term search tool with access to a broad selection of resources.

Office Software:

  • is a complete office software suite, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, html/web page editor, drawing tools, database front end, and more. Basically, it does everything other popular office suites do, and more, and it's Free and fully cross-platform.
  • Libre Office is a complete, cross-platform office software suite, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, html/web page editor, drawing tools, database front end, and more. Basically, it does everything other popular office suites do, and more, and it's Free and fully cross-platform. Libre Office is a fork of the project, started by former developers when Oracle purchased Sun's holdings.
  • AbiWord is a free word processor.


  • Translator Tools is a collection of free tools specially designed to help translators maximize their productivity by automating tasks such as proofreading, pre-formatting documents before translation, creating glossaries, etc. It includes add-ins for Microsoft Word, Excel and Visio, and an add-in for Autocad.

Operating Systems:

  • TuxTrans - a full featured GNU/Linux LiveDVD and operating system distribution customized for translators, with thousands of software packages available, including OpenOffice, OmegaT, Anaphraseus, and other software useful for translators, including CAT software and tools for text alignment, terminology management, video subtitling, software localization and much more.

Project Management:

  • project open, open source project management software.
  • Protemos - Translation Business management and accounting tool. Free for freelancers.
  • Tradumanager - Tradumanager is specifically designed for translation service providers (agencies & freelancers) and gives you complete control over your processes (creation of quotes and invoices, coordination of projects, financial analyses etc.). Available as desktop client with local database or online MySQL database for multi-user environment. Free for freelancers.
  • TransProCalc - free/open source translation project management tools
  • TransProCloud - free/open source, online/cloud translation project management tools.
  • Vitroff - Virtual Translation Office, free/open source online translation project management tools.


  • GnuCash, fully featured, free/open source accounting software.


  • IntelliWebSearch is a highly customizable freeware term search tool designed to save translators time.
  • LOOKUP Freeware term lookup and bilingual glossary management tool. Allows import and export of glossaries.

Additional Resources:


cross platform: functions with more than one computer platform or operating system. In general, it means the software runs on GNU/Linux, BSD, Windows & Mac, or other operating systems.

Discussion related to this article

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Free Software for Translators

Maria Arzayus Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good free English Spanish English dictionary? Dec 19, 2010

I am looking for a good and free English Spanish English dictionary to download. Will be grateful for some advice. Thank you!icon_smile.gif PS - I have been looking for this kind of information in but didn't find it.


Quamrul Islam Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
Member (2009)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Downloading free dictionaries!Dec 19, 2010

Hello Ms Arzayus,

Well, good quality free downloadable dictionaries on a number of languages including Spanish are available from:

To be able to read these dictionaries, one has to install the Microsoft reader first by downloading the appropriate setup file from:

I hope this would help.

Thanks and best regards,


[Edited at 2010-12-19 04:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-12-19 05:04 GMT]


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