Resources: Tools


Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE)


The Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) is a free, computer-aided translation application. It provides a single translation environment with translation memory, machine translation and a glossary to assist during the translation process. Although Autshumato ITE is specifically developed for the eleven official South African languages, it is language independent, and can be adapted for translation between any two languages. The Autshumato ITE is implemented in the Java programming language, supports open file standards and is licensed under the GNU GPL version 3 or later.


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The Autshumato ITE is a derived work from the popular OmegaT application. Read more!




Autshumato Terminology Management System (TMS)


Translators often use terminology lists to help them translate consistently. The effective management of these different terminology lists is very important to ensure consistency and to prevent the duplication of term entries. A terminology management system (TMS) is software that facilitates the management and development of searchable terminology databases that contain terminology in different languages.

The aim of the Autshumato Terminology Management System (TMS) is to serve as a central terminology repository for the eleven languages of South Africa.
The main advantages of the Autshumato TMS are:

  • Open source. The source code of the TMS is open and accessible to anyone. This means that it can be modified to extend the functionality of the system, to port the system to new hardware, and to adapt it to changing conditions.
  • Web based. The Autshumato TMS is web based, and read-only access is granted to anyone. Write access may be granted to pre-approved users, which encourages language practitioners, terminologists and translators to contribute and work together to develop a standardised, consistent terminology database for South African languages.
  • Open standards. The Autshumato TMS is based on open standards (i.e. TBX), which ensures compatibility with other terminology management systems. The use of open standards also ensures that terminology is always accessible and never becomes locked away within a proprietary format requiring a legacy application to access.


The Autshumato TMS is licensed under the Apache License version 2, which means it is free to download and use.


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Autshumato Machine Translation and Translation Memories


What is machine translation?

Machine translation happens when computerised systems attempt to automate the translation process from one human language into another. There is a difference between human-aided machine translation and machine-aided human translation:

  • Machine-aided human translation happens when human translators use translation tools or software to help them with their translation work.
  • Human-aided machine translation is when tools or software simulate the process of human translation with limited human intervention.



Machine translation versus translation memory


  • Translation memories are large databases of translated texts/units, which may include words, collocations, fixed expressions and even short sentences. These units are activated (recalled or made available) automatically during the translation process. If relevant, the translator then merely has to insert the unit into a text, in lieu of translating a whole piece of text from scratch. Translation memories are often used for the translation of technical documents, or documents with similarities to other documents. In the latter instances, translation memories help to avoid tedious repetition. Well-known systems working with translation memories include Trados®, DejaVu®, Wordfast® and OmegaT®.

  • Machine translation systems (a.k.a. ‘automatic translation software’) differ from translation memories in the sense that the translation process is fully automated, with no human intervention involved. An end-user usually pastes his/her text into the system, selects the language pairs, clicks on a button, and a full translation is provided forthwith. It is very important to note, however, that human intervention is required in text revision (‘post-editing’) of the machine translated results. Machine translation systems can be very inaccurate as context-sensitive translation through software is extremely difficult to accomplish. Technology can therefore never replace human translators, but rather contributes to an increase in the quantity and quality of translation work.



Other Autshumato tools


CTexT® Alignment Interface

The CTexT® Alignment Interface tool helps to create parallel corpora with sentence-level alignments. These corpora can be used to develop, among other things, machine translation systems.The CTexT® Alignment Interface is language independent and has a user-friendly interface that requires very little computer skills. The two versions of the tool are:

  • Basic version: Allows users to align sentences between two languages, but not to do any editing of the sentences.
  • Professional version: Has the same functionality of the basic version, while also allowing automatic sentencisation (in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Sesotho sa Leboa) and insertion, deletion and editing of text segments.


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Autshumato PDF Extractor

The Autshumato PDF Extractor extracts text from PDF documents with the aim of making it editable/translatable. It is also able to extract the pages of the PDF document as PNG images. It is completely free to anyone and is licensed under the Apache License V2.0.


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Autshumato TMX Integrator

The Autshumato TMX Integrator is a utility application with which to integrate and update translation memories (specifically those created by the Autshumato ITE) over a network. It allows the user to combine multiple TMX files, while removing duplicates and exporting conflicts. It is released under the TMate Open Source License and is free to download and to be used by anyone.


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Autshumato Text Anonymiser

This is a tool for the anonymisation of text corpora, meaning that confidential information (such as named entities) is replaced with randomly selected, anonymous information of similar type or category. The Autshumato Text Anonymiser supports all eleven official South African languages, and can be applied to others.
Licence: GNU GPL 2 (or later)


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