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Translation memory systems.

What is a translation memory?

A translation memory (TM) is a database in which translated sentences, paragraphs or text segments are saved. However, it should not be mistaken for a machine translation in which the translation is automatically generated by a tool.

Each entry in the translation memory (“segment”) contains the “source text” in the original language and the corresponding translation, the “target text”. If a translator uses a translation memory system when translating, he or she automatically receives a corresponding translation suggestion if the text matches identical or similar segments every time he or she translates new or similar documents.

Specifically, this means that sentences, paragraphs or text segments that have already been translated once do not need to be translated again and instead the translator can take over the existing translation simply by clicking on the mouse.

Text sections, sentences, partial sentences and all terminology from earlier translations can thus be used as a basis for future translations of similar texts. Therefore, with each new translation order, the translation speed can be increased and at the same time the consistency of sentences and terms guaranteed.

The use of translation memory systems is particularly expedient with texts that are regularly updated, are characterised by numerous repetitions or are very similar to other texts.

There are a few fundamental reasons in favour of using translation memory systems:
The translation memory is always kept up-to-date.
Repetitions in the same document are automatically translated and merely require checking by the translator.
Words that have already been translated can be quickly looked up in the translation memory.
The translation memory saves considerable time as it may not be necessary to translate the entire text anew but only certain parts of the text. This results firstly in shorter delivery times and secondly also in corresponding cost savings over time.
The (company-specific) formulations and terms used are always translated in the same way (consistency).
The database facilitates simpler project planning as the translator or project manager can already see before the start of the translation work whether parts of a new text are already available in the same or in a similar form. Both effort and costs can thus already be calculated better beforehand.
Translations that are available in electronic form but have not been created with a translation memory system can also be entered in a TM retrospectively (“alignment”) so that they are available as the basis for future translations.

With what texts is the use of a translation memory worthwhile?

A translation memory is frequently used with translations of the following texts:

Technical manuals
Product catalogues
Instructions for use
If you believe that a translation memory could also be worthwhile for your translation projects, please speak to us – we will be pleased to advise you!

What are the prerequisites for the use of a translation memory system?

A translation memory system can only be used if the texts to be translated are available in electronic form and in an editable file format. If you provide us with your documents to be translated, we will be happy to check for you whether a processing with a translation memory system is worthwhile and feasible. If necessary, we will also be pleased to prepare the documents for corresponding further processing with a translation memory system.

Please contact us if you would like to find out whether the use of a translation memory system would also be worthwhile for your company. We will gladly assist you in optimising your translation processes!

Can existing translations be entered in a translation memory system retrospectively?

If you want to transfer translations that are in electronic form but have not been created with a translation memory system to a translation memory, we will be pleased to carry out an alignment for you. You can thus build up a database step by step for all your future translation projects with the best possible consistency.

If you have any other questions regarding the topic of translation memories, please contact us in person! We will be glad to assist you!