Autshumato is a collection of open-source translation software and tools that are developed and managed by CTexT in South Africa.

Description (from SourceForge)

Autshumato is a series of open-source (free) translation tools, which were funded by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). These tools are developed and managed by the Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) at the North-West University in South Africa and include:

  • The Autshumato Integrated Translation Environment (ITE) is a software program with a translation memory, machine translation capabilities and glossaries to help translators with the translation process. Although the Autshumato ITE has specifically been developed for the eleven official South African languages, it can be adapted for translation between any two languages.
  • The Autshumato Terminology Management System (TMS) helps with the development of terminology databases which contain terminology from different languages. As this is a server based technology, TMS’s have to be custom developed per request.
  • Machine Translation software which can be used to assist human translators in their work. Machine translation happens when computerised systems attempt to automate the translation process from one human language into another.
  • Other resources that were developed as part of the Autshumato project include alignment software, a PDF Extractor and a text anonymiser to safeguard privacy when using the Authsumato ITE.

The Autshumato ITE is already freely available for immediate use. Terminology and machine translation systems are server based and have to be custom developed. The South African Department of Arts and Culture currently uses such a custom developed TMS and machine translation systems for translation from English into Afrikaans, English into isiZulu and English into Sepedi.


"According to Mr Wildrich Fourie, project leader, the first Autshumato project started in 2007 when the DAC realised that human language technology (HLT) can promote multilingualism in the country." (Jan. 2015 press release)

As of 2015, Autshumato "is already being used by the National Language Service, translators in parliament [of South Africa], the NWU Institutional Language Services, the University of Johannesburg as well as the University of the Free State and has been downloaded internationally by users in China, Spain, Denmark and Norway, among others." (Jan. 2015 press release)


"The first Autshumato project focused on the development of machine translation systems for translation from English to IsiZulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans. The second project focused on translation from English to Xitsonga and the third project will focus on translation from English to Setswana. Wildrich says the ultimate goal is to have translation capabilities for all the official languages." (Jan. 2015 press release)