• Rick White - Director of Client Services

What is Translation Memory and Why Should You Use It?

We all know that using professional, native-speaking linguists results in the highest-quality translations. Using human translators makes for a seamless localization process, as humans are able to comprehend the nuances of a specific culture and language, whereas computers can not.


However, recent advancements in translation technology have made it much easier for linguists to complete their translations with efficiency and ease. Translation memory is a valuable tool to use with your translation service provider, and here’s a closer look at all the benefits it can bring.


What is Translation Memory?


Translation memory is a database that stores segments of your original and translated text, in order to help human linguists. It is a repository of all the content that has been translated before, everything from a simple sentence to longer phrases and full paragraphs.


At the start of every project, your linguist will run the source content into the translation memory. If there is a match, they’ll use the previously translated content in their new project, saving time and increasing their productivity as the linguist won’t have to translate those segments from scratch.


Your translation memory is agile and constantly growing with every project you have - making it an excellent investment to use with all your translation services.


How Does Translation Memory Work?


Translation memory consolidates your content into three segments.


New Segment

This is a word, phrase, or length of content that is completely new, meaning it has not been translated before, or it matches a segment at less than 50%. In the case of new segments, the linguist will have to translate the content completely.


Fuzzy Segment

This type of segment can be considered a partial match to what already exists in the translation memory. Fuzzy matches may exactly match one or two words within a sentence but not the whole thing, or they may be partial matches over something as small as a different punctuation mark. The linguist will have to take a closer look at these segments but they take less time to complete.


Repetitions & 100% Matches

This segment is a perfect match with a word or phrase that already exists in the translation memory. For extra quality assurance, the linguist will still take a quick pass at the match for context and quality.


4 Benefits of Using Translation Memory


Here are the benefits that come with using translation memory during your translation and localization process.


1. Increased Productivity

Since the linguists won’t have to translate every word from scratch, using translation memory will give the linguist time to work on other tasks. Simply put - they’ll be able to translate more, in less time.


This is especially true for clients that have specific messaging or style guide requirements for their brand. They’ll only have to translate and localize the text once, and it will be saved in the translation memory for every project going forward.


2. A Faster Turn-Around Time

We see translation memory as a tool that will enhance our linguists’ work - so because the translation memory will help them to increase their productivity, we can get your translated and localized content over to you, faster.


3. Improved Quality

Your translation memory consistently updates every time you use it, and the translation segments that are stored can be retrieved from past projects and updated going forward if needed. The more segments you store in the translation memory, the more consistent your projects will be, which adds to the overall quality of the translations produced.


4. Cost Savings

With translation memory, the more you use it, the more money you save! You will receive a discount based on the type of segment match, so you want to strive to have fuzzy matches and repetitive matches in your translation memory!


Interested in talking more about translation memory? Let’s hop on a call to chat more about our comprehensive translation services and how Language Intelligence will help you communicate all across the world.