Everything you need to know about Translation Memory

In our globalised world, in which the demand for localised content continues to grow and grow, Language Service Providers are increasingly looking towards technology to make the translation process more time, cost, and labour efficient. A crucial tool in achieving this is Translation Memory, often referred to simply as TM.

What is Translation Memory and how does it work?

TM works by noting recurring words or phrases in a document, and storing their corresponding translations, provided by the linguist working on the project, in a database.

Later in the text, or in a new project, the TM prompts the translator if a phrase they have already translated reappears, and if the context is right, the linguist will reuse the translation – saving time for the them, and in turn, money for you.

What are the benefits?

Quicker turnaround

The more you translate, the more your TM database grows; increasing the likelihood that a certain word or phrase has already been translated and stored, especially if you have content that you commonly use across your projects.

This means that the linguist won’t have to translate every new document from scratch, speeding up the whole process.

Lower costs

A considerable discount is applied to a translation project that makes use of previously translated linguistic content due to the quicker turnaround times; a lesser discount is also offered for similar content, referred to as ‘fuzzy matches’.

Increased consistency

Reusing previous translations where appropriate will ensure consistency of tone and style across multiple documents, as well as maintaining high quality standards.

Links to translation glossaries

A translation glossary is a list of industry or product-specific terms supplied by the client, and their corresponding translations. Glossaries are especially useful when translating technical documents, legal tenders, and other in-depth texts that require regular repetition of certain words and phrases. TM helps to maximise the efficiency of glossaries, thus ensuring that consistency is always maintained when it matters most.

TM aids linguists, but doesn’t replace them

Translation Memory is a tool designed to work with the translator rather than instead of them, so you can be assured that the readability, subtleties and nuances of your text won’t be lost.


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