Translation Memory - It's What Friends Use For Your Translations

Published on Nov 15, 2019

by Marcos Dinnerstein

Translation memory should be a standard part of your translator’s set of tools.

Do you do business internationally? Do you regularly use translators for your content? Are you familiar with the term, translation memory?

If not, then you need to check your wallet, the family jewels, and your fillings. You, my friend, might be getting robbed. 

What is a translation memory? (TM)

Translation memory is a database, or collection, of previously translated word segments. These can be complete sentences, paragraphs, or sentence-like units such as headings, titles or list elements. The translation memory maintains a record of each instance of a source language and its corresponding translation. These language pairs are called ‘translation units’. When a human translator uses translation memory she can be informed when a previously translated segment has been detected. 

When MotaWord’s system has a client where there is translation memory (we’d need to have done prior translations for you in order to generate this database) we can both speed the latest translation and, at the same time, possibly discount the price of this translation. That’s because we don’t charge twice to translate the same phrase or sentence.

If you use translators who don’t explicitly tell you that they use translation memory, they might be billing you multiple times for the same sentences or phrases. You don’t have to accept that anymore.

But that’s not as strange as you might think and it doesn’t mean your translators are bad people. In days of yore, when the scribe was taking dictation and re-inking their quill pen as you dropped your pearls of wisdom, every piece of content was unique. The bilingual scribes were translating each work as a stand-alone piece. There was no such thing as translation memory. 

And some translators or agencies still follow these practices. (maybe not the quill pen part) But why work with translators who don’t use a widely adopted translation tool? Don’t hire them. That would be akin to hiring a carpenter who doesn’t use power tools.

MotaWord’s loyal clients benefit from faster, more accurate and economical translations. The content of their translation memory is never shared or used for any other purpose and can be downloaded whenever they wish.

For more on Translation Memory (TM) and how MotaWord provides clients greater value, read What Is Translation Memory

And watch What is Translation Memory? - Translation 101

There's more to know about choosing a translation company. Read, Choosing a Translation Agency: What You Need To Know

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