Getting Started Guide for Project Managers

Lesson 2: Create and Manage Translation Memories

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What is a Translation Memory?

translation memory (or TM) is a database made up of segments of original source text and translations of each of these segments. These segments can be sentences, paragraphs, headings, etc. A pair of source and translated segments is called a "translation unit" (TU). A TU is created in real time and stored in the TM as the source text is translated into the target language. 

Using TMs has several benefits. Translators can reuse translations, which speeds up the translation process and reduces costs. TMs also 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.  

Even if you already have a TM that you've prepared for your project, you'll still need to create one in Memsource before you can upload yours into the project. Below, you'll find the steps to creating a new TM in Memsource.  

Video Length 1:32

Step 1: To create a translation memory, you can either use the Create New button on the Translation Memories page or use the plus sign (+) in the navigation panel.  


Step 2: Fill in the following mandatory fields:

  • Name
    • Give your new translation memory a name. Remember that you will be able to use it for other projects later on as well, so it does not have to be specific to just this project.
  • Source Language
    • The source language is the original language of your document. Only one source language can be selected per translation memory.
  • Target Language
    • A target language is a language that you will be translating into. There can be an unlimited number of target languages in a translation memory.


Step 3: Click the Create button at the bottom to complete the setup of your translation memory. This will redirect you back to the Project page. You'll notice that the Translation Memories section now has a (1) and an arrow next to the title. Click on the arrow to expand this section and see your new TM.

If you'd previously made a translation memory for your project outside of Memsource, you are now ready to upload it. See Step 4 below for how to go about this. If not, you're ready to go on to Lesson 3.


Step 4: Existing translation memories can be imported into Memsource using TMX or XLSX formats. To do this, first click on the TM you created in Steps 1-3. There will be three sections to this page: Search, Import/Export, and Related Projects. In the Import/Export section, there will be a button called Import. When you click this button, you will see the following popup: 

 Click Choose File and import your TM. Do this for all the TMs you want to add to this project.


Note: This section also has an Export button and a button called Align that you can use to create a TM. To use the Align feature, you need an original document in your source language and that same document in your target language. You can then align the two documents to make your translation memory.


Step 5: To use the translation memory in a project, navigate to the project in question, scroll down to the Translation Memories section and click Select. You can learn more about working with projects in Lesson 1.


Step 6: With the translation memory attached, anyone working on jobs from that project in Memsource Editor can leverage the results from the translation memory in real time. Also, confirming a segment in either one of the Editors will automatically save the translation into the translation memory. These will show up as suggestions in similar translations in the future.


If you want to learn more about the Memsource Editor, see the Getting Started Guide for Linguists. To find out more about working with TMs, see our main Translation Memories article. 

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