Translation memory demystified

By on August 8, 2011

Translation memory is a type of software that stores a unit or “segment” of a source language together with its translated equivalent in the target language.

This is useful for several reasons. Firstly, it improves the consistency of translated documents, as once a segment of text is stored in the memory, the translator will be prompted to use it wherever it appears in a file. Secondly, where text is repeated in a document, the client does not need to pay for the sentence to be translated twice. Thirdly, it makes the process more efficient, so translations take less time.

Other useful feature common to most types of translation memory software are:

About “matches”

Translation memory software categorises segments in several different ways:

Why do these matter?

When a file is analysed using translation memory, the software produces a breakdown of the repetitions, matches, etc in the file(s).

Translation providers will usually then discount the rate charged for fuzzy and 100% matches, as these have already been translated (or partially translated) and already exist in the TM. Repetitions are also discounted.

Benefits of using TM

Next time you have a translation project, ask us about Translation Memory – we’ll be happy to explain the breakdown of your text and show you the savings you can make.


[…] For more information about translation software and how we use it, have a look at our 2011 blog post about translation memory. […]

Web Translations » Blog Archive » Proudly working with memoQ software on Jul 31 13 at 11:55 am

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

inteligentne on Aug 08, 2011 at 9:55 pm

For any translator TM is one of the most important tools, as it contains all the translated words. It’s very important to keep them in order and within easy reach!

Online English Editing on Aug 09, 2011 at 7:49 am

Translation software uses algorithms and relies mainly on language usage statistics and word substitution. Currently the state of machine translation is such that it involves some human intervention, as it requires a pre-editing and a post-editing phase. Note that in machine translation, the translator supports the machine and not the other way around.

Prevodilac on Aug 09, 2011 at 10:59 am

Translation memory does work and it is effective, but i would have to agree with Prevodilac. It still requires pre-editing and post-editing. Why? Because it does not really give you the exact translation with the exact meaning of the original text.

Professionelle Übersetzung on Sep 16, 2011 at 2:17 am

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