A translation memory (TM) is a database of previously translated text and is a key aspect of every CAT tool. The text is split into smaller segments (usually sentences or titles) in a process called segmentation. The original segment and its translation are then saved into the translation memory as a "translation unit". The TM can have several target languages (though only one source language) and can be used in multiple projects simultaneously.
The Benefits of Using TMs
There are two main benefits to using TMs.
- The TMs allow translators to reuse translations, which speeds up the translation process and reduces costs.
- The TMs help to ensure that translations are consistent. This is especially useful when, for example, different translators are working on the same project for a specific client.
Setting Up a Translation Memory
There are a number of things you can do with a translation memory, but first, you have to set one up. Once you have that done, you can:
- Assign the memory to a Memsource project so that the ongoing translation will be saved there.
- Import a TMX from another CAT tool or a special Excel file into your Memsource TM.
- Align previously translated text with its original version and import this into your Memsource TM.
- Edit the parameters of the TM.
- Search and edit the content of the TM directly in Memsource.
- Export it and edit outside of the Memsource, or import it into another CAT tool.
Using a Translation Memory
After your translation memory is set up, it's time to put it to use. The most common uses for a translation memory are: