Translation memory (TM) is a translation database in the ".tmx" format. This technology is a part of the CAT software ecosystem
Translation Memory (TM) or Translation Store is a part of the CAT software ecosystem. It is a kind of database that helps us to speed up the translation process without any loss of quality, create and use glossaries and dictionaries for users. TM is a file in the “.tmx” format that stores original segments and their translation.
The use of the TM is compared with the use of a copying machine.
Once the document is loaded into the program, it “copies” and saves it to tell you at the right moment that segments or their parts have already been translated. This kind of copying helps translators to reuse previously translated documents achieving style and terminology consistency and to perform translation faster and cheaper for a client.
Principle of Translation Memory Operation
- We create a project in the CAT tool: connect translation memory, glossary, and upload documents.
- Then we divide text into segments.
- The computer-aided translation system compares each segment of the original with the translation memory and generates a report.
- It is used to calculate the cost of a project translation for a client: the fewer new segments in a translation, the cheaper its cost. If a project has repetitions it leads to a reduction of prices.
- In the course of the work, the program offers translation options, then the translator approves them fully or partially, or rejects them.
Translation Memory Is a Client’s Moneybox
TM is updated at the moment of translation confirmation of each segment. It allows customers to save on the current project plus all the following ones.
Empty Translation Memory Also Saves Money
A common situation: the client would like to save money, but he or she doesn’t have a TM, which means that it’s not going to work. It is a misconception. Everything is thought out in the symbiosis of CAT and TM.
Documents always contain the same sentences (they are also segments in CAT tool). Let’s assume that there are two such identical sentences (segments) in one document and one more in three other project documents. The translator translates the first sentence and confirms the translation. At this point, CAT tool records the original and its translation into the translation memory and immediately puts this translation into the remaining four segments.
The use of computer-assisted translation tools is particularly beneficial for the translation of instructions, manuals, contracts, legal and accounting documents, audit reports, drawings, etc., because FREEDOM Translation Agency calculates the cost of project translations taking into account the percentage of repetitions in the text. The total savings range from 15 to 70 percent. You can find out more about tariffs and their range here.