A translation memory is simply one of the many parts of the automation revolution of the translation industry. This revolution we are currently living is both an exciting and scary time for translators! Translation technologies have grown rapidly in recent years, with machine translation output making jaws drop.

Although Machine Translation will never replace human translators (here is why), there are many translation technologies that make translators’ lives easier. From Computer-Assisted Translation Tools (CAT tools) to Machine Translation, Translation Management Systems and Translation Bots, there is a lot to choose from. But how do these technologies impact the translation process? And, more specifically, what exactly is a translation memory and how does it work?

How a Translation Memory Works

Translation memories are one translation technology that we use here at Crisol Translations. By storing past translations in a database, a translation memory draws on this data to re-use words, phrases and sentences for future translations. These segments can vary in length and the software chooses them based on their contextual relevance for the project at hand. Can the process of establishing a translation memory be lengthy? Yes. Are the long-term effects of this technology worth it? Definitely! They mean that, a translator, you may never have to translate the same sentence twice.

The Benefits of a Translation Memory

Translation memories are one of the most useful tools in modern translation! Translation technologies have come super far since their introduction to the industry, nowadays helping produce extremely high-standard translations. These superior translations keep clients happy, linguists productive, and repeat business constant. This, alongside the quick turnaround associated with the use of translation memories, is extremely effective in driving client satisfaction.

When using a translation memory, you use previous translations to
leverage your new translation projects. This lowers the time you need to complete a translation, which can in turn reduce costs. With big, well-mantained and up-to-date translation memories, the levels of consistency and quality improve greatly! Such improvement also means a reduced need for in-depth revision, once again lowering costs.

Translation Memory

Translation Memory vs. Other Translation Technologies

Translation memories are unique in that it is a human translator, not a machine, who initially completes the the actual, original translation. This differs from other technologies such as Machine Translation where a computer programme does the entire translation, meaning the output is of significantly less quality. What’s more, the number of languages translation memories support is infinite, meaning the opportunity for growth is endless. However, big agencies often use translation memories alongside Machine Translation (especially when the translation involves of a lot of simple, repetitive language, and standard terms) with great results.

Always be careful that your translation provider curates Machine Translation output if they use it in their translations! The practice of charging clients for human services and delivering the work of a robot is more frequent in our industry that you’d like to know, so you need to stay alert.

When Do Translators Use Translation Memories?

Often translators need to work on projects that are very repetitive. In this case, a translation memory is the perfect tool to use. First, it isolates segments of text that are already in its database, and then it automatically populates the new translation with them. As it was a professional translator who did the original translator, you have the guarantee that the translated segment is of exceptional quality. Note: translation memories need maintenance! Did you know that maintaining them is an actual role big within translation agencies?

At Crisol Translations, we aim to provide you with high-quality translations for the best value. To do this, we work with the most cutting edge translation technologies, such as translation memories that we have been growing and maintaining for years, to ensure your translation is perfect every time. For more on how we can perfect your translation efforts, contact us at info@crisoltranslations.com.

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