If you have never worked with translations before, chances are you have never heard of a translation memory. However, it is one of the most important elements of our translation process. Therefore, we will be happy to clarify what translation memories are, what role they play in our translation process and why they are of importance to you as our client.
A translation memory is a database in which completed translations are stored. You can imagine this as a file in which the original text from your document (divided into sentences and segments) and the corresponding translations are linked together. All translation memories, in turn, are linked to our translation software. This enables us to leverage translation memories for your profit.
When you give us a translation order for the first time, we will create a translation memory specifically for you. It goes without saying that this memory will be empty at first, but the more translation jobs we carry out for you, the larger your translation memory becomes. If you have your texts translated to multiple languages, all of those will end up in the memory.
Saving time and safeguarding quality
Keeping a translation memory greatly helps our translators, and therefore you as well. If you submit multiple texts about similar subjects to us for translation, the translator will be able to use the previous translation as reference material for the current translation job. This is where our translation software comes into play again, automatically offering the translator relevant translation suggestions based on the translation memory. This occurs based on the matches as described earlier: the more the current text matches the text in the translation memory, the more prominent the ‘old’ translation is suggested to the translator.
This way, the translator does not have to manually search through old translations or look up certain terms time and again. They are directly given the most relevant suggestions and, depending on the relevance of the suggestion, they will therefore need less time to produce a good translation. In short, translation memories help to keep increasing the quality of your translations in the long run, and can contribute to shorter lead times. This will be especially noticeable in large translation orders containing many matches within the text or with previously completed translations.
As described above, translation memories enable you to use previous translations as reference material for new translation orders. While we try to let the same translators work on your texts as much as possible, they might be unavailable when you need a translation. In that case we will give the work to a translator who is not as familiar with your texts. But thanks to the translation memory, this ‘new’ translator will be able to see what tone of voice is used and what terminology are used in the texts. This results in a high level of consistency throughout your texts without having to rely on the availability of one single translator.
In addition, a translation memory reduces the costs of translation orders as more translation work is carried out for you. This is how it works: When you place a translation order with us, we will analyse your document using our translation software. This analysis is used to determine the amount of words in the document, and how many matches it contains. By matches we mean the degree to which the document corresponds with the previously completed translations that are in your translation memory. The higher the degree of correspondence detected by the software, the higher the number of matches. And the more matches, the higher your discount will be on the total translation price.
Our aim is to always ensure that your texts are professional and meet your company’s tone of voice or specialist terminology. In the early stages of the collaboration, we will still be in the process of getting to know and determining your tone of voice and terminology in multiple languages in consultation with you. This will generally take place during the first translation assignments we carry out for you, but it remains an important element in the course of the collaboration.
In the early stages we can immediately make the difference together by actively gathering feedback on the translated texts. If you provide us with feedback, we will be able to process it in your translation memory. And as we mentioned before, translators will use the translation memory as reference material for future translation jobs. In other words, the more the translation memory is in line with your preferences, the more any future translation assignments will be directly in line with your preferences.