What is translation memory?
Translation memory tools are software packages designed to add efficiency to the translation process by making it easier to deal with chunks of text that are repeated or reoccur in different variations thoughout the document. However, translation memory is only useful for certain types of text.
What are the benefits?
There are benefits for both client and translator
||The client saves money by paying only partial fees for repetitions and "fuzzy" matches
||Larger documents can be translated and delivered in shorter spaces of time
||It is easier for the translator to maintain consistency, especially over large documents
||The translation memory files are provided to the client on delivery, giving the client the flexibility of using different translators in the future without detriment to consistency
||TM can be a very useful tool for aiding the localization of HTML and other software files
How does it work?
Translation memory tools work by storing "segments" of text in a memory as the translator translates them. If a segment reoccurs elsewhere in the text, the translator can summon its translation from the memory to avoid having to retranslate or search for the text in question. If a segment similar to a previous one occurs, the translator can summon a partial (or "fuzzy") match from the memory for editing.
What types of text does translation memory work with?
The source document must be available in electronic format.
Translation memory works best with material that contains a large proportion of repeated or partially repeated text, such as:
However, translation memory is also useful for documents that do not necessarily contain repetitions, but are updated periodically based around the same content e.g. monthly reports presenting the same data each month, contracts that are modified periodically.
|| Instruction and operator manuals
|| Software specifications, help files etc.
|| Commercial websites
What commercial translation memory packages are there?
Some of the main TM tools are Trados, Deja Vu and SDLX.
The main TM tool used by Japanese Link is Trados, but translations can also be handled using other packages.