Translation Memory Management

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Translation Memory Management epitomizes the collaboration of top-notch human capital and advanced technology. By seamlessly integrating human translation efforts, legacy translation database, and translation technology, good Translation Memory Management can help process high volumes of translation while improving efficiency and quality by leveraging the legacy translation database, saving time and money.

Unfortunately, many businesses have little idea just how much time and money they are wasting by not adopting and deploying Translation Memory Tools and its management.

Never Translate the same content twice.

What matters most to you when it comes to translation?

Quality? Consistency? Turnaround time? Costs?

What if you were told that you could have these and more?

You can start getting it right the first time by adopting Translation Memory in your translation process through efficient Translation Memory Management.

What is Translation Memory?

Translation memory or TM is not Machine Translation. It does not translate automatically like some machine translation tools. Instead, it suggests possible translations based on what is available in the database, and the translator will decide if it is a good fit based on the context of the new translation.

Translation Memory is a database that is built continuously using past translations. This means every time you get something translated, the system memorizes the translation and saves it for future use.

Translation memory is an essential tool for any localization work to be efficient. When built and managed properly, it will become an important asset in your multilingual global communication strategy.

Translation Memory consists of a database that captures the source text and its corresponding translated segments. It is usually stored as segments of bilingual sentences and can be used to pre-process new translation projects of similar nature.

The system will scan the new content for the same or similar sentence, automatically reusing existing translations. The game is simple: the more you translate, the more you feed the database, and the higher the chance matches can be found in the translation memory and reused.

Translation memory works best when source texts use identical or similar phrases, which can often be seen in legal, financial, technical, and medical content. The advantages of Translation Memory can also be fully harnessed when updating documents or making small changes within an entire document. 

Translation memory is ideal for massive documentation with a huge number of repetitions found scattered all over. It is also very good for the management of updates. Example of documents suitable for Translation Memory:

E-commence content
Technical documentation
Users Guide
Product manuals
Operating manuals
Maintenance manuals
Video game localization
Software localization
Legal content
Financial content

How do Translation Memory (TM) matches work?

Each time you upload new content, the system will analyze the content for any identical or similar sentences translated previously and now sit in the database as a Translation Memory. Different Translation Memory tools will provide an analysis that may differ slightly. But in general, the breakdown of the degree of matches would include the following:

Context or 101% Match consists of translated sentences in the translation memory with the same context as your new texts. It is important that the sentence in the source text from the previous document is 100% identical to the sentence in the source text from the new document.

Another criterion for context match is that the sentences before and after need to be the same as the previous translation project. Context matches extend to a larger part of the document, and such matches are considered trustworthy and are usually accepted without further editing.

100% Match – 100% match is a level below Context Match, and it occurs when the content of a translation memory segment (sentence) matches the source segment (sentence) exactly. This also means that the entire content (all characters and character formatting) that appear in the source document segment (sentence) and the translation memory segment (sentence) must be identical.

Fuzzy Match – Anything below 100% match is considered a fuzzy match. Most Translation Memory tools will provide quite an accurate analysis of the level of fuzzy matches. Based on the context, a translator can decide whether or not the existing translation can be reused. However, in practice, anything below 85% Match is usually not considered meaningful matches and will be lumped under the no match or new words category.

Benefits of Translation Memory

Benefits of Translation Memory Technology and Management

Sustainable Translation Process via Translation Memory Management

By deploying Translation Memory Technology in your translation management process, you will never need to translate the same content twice. The Translation Memory can also be shared across different translation platforms and with various translation service providers to allow for a huge volume of content to be translated over a short period of time with minimum disruption to translation consistency and quality.

Translation Memory can help achieve greater consistency and high-quality translation output across projects when managed properly from the start. In the long run, you will see an overall reduction in costs and a shorter turnaround time to allow you to scale your global communication content to reach your target audiences effortlessly.

Advantages of incorporating Translation Memory

Stop paying full price for translated content

When you start building Translation Memory from your translated content or on the go, you can stop paying full price for exact sentences or similar sentences in your new content that can be found in your legacy translation memory database. With Translation Memory, you can even save on repetition found in your content.

No need to translate similar content twice

The advantage of using Translation Memory is that you do not need to translate sentences that have been translated before. By building Translation Memory from your past translation jobs, you are building on your legacy translation data. When you deploy Translation Memory in your translation process, you are on your way to creating an Intellectual Property of Translation Asset that is proprietary to your organization.

Consistency and High-quality Translation is maintained

From the start, you will be able to pre-translate 100% matches and find fuzzy matches from your previous translations. This means you can maintain consistency and quality of your translation output across projects when you recycle approved translations from your previous translations by either adopting the 100% matches wholly or reviewing and revising the fuzzy matches.

Quicker Turnaround Time

Translation Memory eliminates duplication of efforts and allows translation efforts on new sentences to be more focused. One immediate tangible benefit would be a shorter turnaround time required for the translation work. This will translate to a quick time-to-market for your multilingual content.

Reduce Translation Costs Without Sacrificing Quality

Using previous translations in the case of 100% matches and reusable fuzzy matches means that you do not need to pay for the translation from scratch. One of the most sought-after benefits of deploying the Translation Memory tool in your translation process is the savings on translation costs in the long run.

The matches differentiation from the file analysis allows for existing translations to be reused. Other conditions such as how the new text is written and managed, how updated your Translation Memory is, the maintenance and management of Translation Memory updates, you should expect a discount of up to 70% for 100% matches and a discount of between 30% to 50% for fuzzy matches with 85% matches upwards.

Translation Memory Management – more than just deploying Translation Memory Tools

It is important to note that Translation Memory works as part of a Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tool; for it to be fully optimized, it should be incorporated as part of an efficient Translation Management System and work in with other components such as Termbase or Multiterm, which houses multilingual terms specific to the translation project and the Alignment tool which turns your existing translated material into assets you can tap on immediately.

That being said, we must bear in mind that how much a new translation job can benefit from the Translation Memory Database is dependent on how much and what is put into the database.

Coupled with proper management and maintenance of the Translation Memory, the adoption of Translation Memory in your translation process means the more you translate, the more you beef up your Translation Memory database. When that happens, you will spend less time on your translation work, save more on translation costs, and see an overall improvement in the consistency and quality of the translation output across projects in the long run.

Your Translation Memory Database is your Language Assets, an Intellectual Property that should be managed and guarded.

Talk to us about how Translation Memory Management can be deployed in your translation work to help you minimize expenditures and maximize the returns for your translation investments today!