What is translation memory?

Translation at scale. This is the power of translation memory, a linguistic database that memorizes and stores segments of translated text. These translations are then applied to future projects for speed, consistency and cost savings.

Translation memory, or TM, can be used on any type of translation project, from website to documents and from customer support content to marketing collateral.

How does translation memory work?

As translators work through source content, the translation memory database will suggest exact or fuzzy matches that translators can accept, reject or overwrite. Any new or updated translations will be stored in the translation memory for current and future use. So the more content you translate, the “smarter” and more efficient the translation memory tool becomes.

For translation memory to truly work for your company, it requires professional translators to ensure quality translations are entered in the first place as the output is only, as in most cases, as good as the input.

Think of translation memory as a toolkit. In the wrong hands, anything can happen. But with a professional, in-country translator who has experience with translation memory, it becomes a powerful tool. They can quickly “pre-process” text against any previously stored translations and then reuse similar phrases which have already been approved by your internal team.

Translation memory determines what percent of a match each text segment is so you can re-use previous translations for future localization projects. To determine the level of match, translation memory is broken down into these categories: context matches, 100% or exact matches, fuzzy matches, and repetitions. The closer the match, the less you pay.

Translation memory management

Translation memory is a powerful tool, yes, but professional management is also needed to achieve maximum efficiency. This peace of mind can’t be overstated when your company expands into new markets, while also changing corporate communications on a regular basis.

To get the most out of translation memory, you need a translation partner to be your guide. Acclaro has extensive experience with translation memory and the proper management of TM.

Contact our team today to see how you can achieve consistent, effective and cost-efficient translations.

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