Alpha Trans Tech

Translation Memory

It is a key requirement for modern organizations to reduce translation costs and improve consistency while reducing lead times. It is possible to reduce costs and increase efficiency and consistency by reusing previous translations for future translation projects. Translation memories are an invaluable asset for a company's success because they deliver instant returns. Without a translation memory to capture this repeated content for future reuse, your translators will be localizing the same phrases time and time again. This can slow down project completion and cause you to pay for the same translation multiple times.  Not using a translation memory can also reduce the quality of localized content and lead to customer dissatisfaction.


Translation memories can aid the localization process and dramatically improving both quality and efficiency. All of a customer’s previous translations can be stored for future reuse so that the same sentence never needs to be translated—or paid for—twice. Furthermore, the acceleration of project completion will mean that you will be able to accept more work and increase your revenues.


What is a translation memory?

A translation memory is a linguistic database that continually grows and learns from the translator.

All previous translations are accumulated in source and target language pairs called translation units. This information is stored in the translation memory and is reused so that the same sentence never has to be translated twice. The more the translation memories are built up, the faster translators can work, the faster you can deliver your translation projects, and the more money you make.


How does a translation memory work?

Using Trados 2011 Suite as an example, the translator would open the source file and applies the translation memory so that any “100% matches” (identical matches) or “fuzzy matches” (similar, but not identical matches) within the text are instantly extracted and placed within the target file.


As the translator works through the source file, the "matches” suggested by the translation memory can be either accepted or overridden with new alternatives. If a translation unit is manually updated, then it is stored within the translation memory for future use as well as for repetition in the current text. In a similar way, all segments in the target file without a “match” are translated manually and automatically added to the translation memory.


When would I use a translation memory?

Translation memories should be used by anyone who translates text from one language to another. They are most effective when localizing documents with a high level of repetition.

Translation memory is also very helpful when translating content out of context. An increasing number of organizations rely on Content Management Systems (CMS) to manage their information. A CMS allows individual blocks of text, rather than entire documents, to be created, edited, and then published in a variety of different formats.  A translation memory helps to make this process quicker and more consistent.


Furthermore, even if a translation memory is not being used, the dedicated translation environment allows translators to extract text from the source file and focus on localizing the text without worrying about the tags. For example, with an HTML file, all of the coding will be hidden so you do not have to waste time searching through unnecessary lines for the text that requires translation.


What are the business benefits of using a translation memory?

Delivering content into different languages is a complex process that involves people across the world.  The investment in delivering such content should not be wasted.  This is where the Alpha TransTech translation memory comes into effect.

Storing all previously translated content into a single, virtual, multilingual repository allows a corporation to take advantage of previously translated content when delivering new information to a global audience.


When new content is delivered for translation, the first step is to compare that content against any information already stored within the translation memory. Any content that has already been translated is reused, leaving only a small component that needs to be delivered to human translation across the global translation supply chain. 


How does a translation memory tool differ from a terminology tool?

A translation memory tool stores segments of text as translation units in source and target pairs. A segment can consist of a sentence or paragraph.

A terminology tool, on the other hand, is a searchable database that contains a list of multilingual terms and rules regarding their usage. Terminology is typically used in conjunction with a translation memory.


How does translation memory software differ from machine translation?

Machine translation automatically translates a document without any human input.

These kinds of tools are fast, but they result in a poor translation because a machine cannot understand the subtleties or contexts of language. As a result, quality and accuracy tend to be around fifty to seventy percent. Therefore, it is not advisable to send the raw form directly to your customers. In addition, machine translation can be used for only a limited number of supported languages.


With translation memory software, such as Trados 2011 Suite, the number of supported languages is unlimited, and the actual translation is performed by a professional translator. The translation memory assists by presenting 100% matches and fuzzy matches from the legacy translation database so that the translator can work with greater efficiency, consistency, and quality.