How can you translate more and save more with a translation memory?
Translation memory is a way of using technology to help with your work. A translation memory database can be used to store phrases, terms, words and expressions that you have already translated for future use by making suggestions or as direct replacements during a translation.
Today, many technical translation companies use software with this type of technology. Translation memories are included in a number of computer-aided translation programs (CAT tools) and in word-processing programs, terminology management systems, dictionaries and even some machine translation software using artificial intelligence. We must not forget, however, that translation memories and machine translations are two very different things. Unlike machine translation, a translation memory enables you to use a previous translation.
There are obviously a number of advantages to this. Some of the main ones are:
– Faster translations, as you only have to translate once
– Consistent terminology
– Once you have translated an expression, it comes up automatically translated or suggested throughout the document
– Nothing is left out, as this software will not let you close an incomplete translation
In other words, it is a solution that helps you translate more while saving time and resources.
However, despite the advantages offered by translation memories, nothing can replace the experience of a professional translator. This type of solution is not yet able to set out terms in a sentence and make adjustments for number, gender agreement, verb conjugations, etc. Moreover, if the initial translation is bad, then you run the risk of providing a poor translation with this mistake repeated every time the term occurs.
Moreover, a translation memory has to be trained, fed and properly maintained by linguists to perfect it as it is used and to ensure it remains of good quality. So, while translation memories cannot replace professional translators, they can certainly help!