Top 3 Translation Memory Benefits and Why You Need to Build One Now

by Chelsea Ramage

Translation memory is one topic that always comes up during an introductory meeting/call with a potential client. Truth be told, translation memory is what makes us translation agencies produce the quality that all companies and organizations need to communicate globally. Without it, you lose a major selling point that professional language localization services have to offer.

So, what is translation memory?

Translation memory is a linguistic database, commonly known as TM, a translator uses to help leverage words and during the translation process. Leveraging words helps to keep translation costs down, produce quicker turnaround times for projects, and maintain consistency from start to finish.

Versus working within a native application format, files are prepared in a format where the text is easily readable and a translator is translating line by line within the translation memory tool- as seen below.

example of translation memory

Whether  you are researching companies for first-time translations or have already built a translation memory, there are three major benefits to translation memory that you need to know.

  1. Economical costs over time

Think about how your company writes about its brand. You may catch consistent terminology within your marketing content or repeated sentences and phrases on your web pages. Translation memory recognizes anything that has been previously translated which decrease costs on future translations.

Translation memory determines what percent of a match each segment is so you can leverage previous translations for future localization projects. To determine the leverage, TM is broken down into categories: context matches, 100% matches, fuzzy matches, and repetitions. The closer the match, the less the cost per word. Interpro Translation Solutions uses an industry standard Translation Memory segmentation breakdown to analyze against the translation memory.

  1. Quick turnaround time

The more you build in your Translation Memory, the less a translator has to translate which will generate quicker turnaround times for your projects.

For example, if you are a manufacturing company translating an updated version of your 40-page user manual into French, there will be segments within your previously translated user manual that are recyclable. If you are localizing an eCommerce site, you may find words that can be recycled for each update. As new products are being updated to your eCommerce site, usually the color and size of the item will remain consistent.

  1. High-quality translations: never miss a segment

Translation memory is not just a benefit to you, but also to the translators using it. Translators see the files line by line and translate accordingly. When translators receive big projects, translation memory helps ensure that every piece of the copy will be translated which helps to produce high-quality translations.

Partnering with a translation services provider utilizing translation memory technology will keep the quality you require at its best by maintaining consistency, saving time, and reducing costs.