All About Translation Memory

What do we refer to as a translation memory? This is a feature seen mainly on online translation tools, which allows a translator to make use of a text he has translated before. It is a computer-assisted function that helps fasten the translation process. A translation memory creates a database that stores primary text segments from the translator’s works. The feature helps the translator increase pace and accuracy by bringing up some already saved jobs of the translator, which he can use. This is very helpful to the translator, as he will make use of standard terms and sentences. It also curtails wastage of time and money as the translator can recall previous works and pick points rather than translating from scratch. This helps in the meeting of a deadline by translators in translation centers (ศูนย์แปลเอกสาร, which is the term in Thai).

 Computer-Assisted Translation tools Vs. Translation Memory

Creating a unique database of translated segments is the primary aim of a translation memory. The translated parts saved up in the translation memory are stored as translation units in the memory of computer-assisted translation systems. Whenever an identical word or a similar text fragment appears in the translation process, the computer-assisted translation tool retrieves the translation units automatically. For instance, if you have a ten-word sentence stored in the translation memory and in the course of translating s new job, eight similar words appear, which means we have an 80% similarity. The previously translated sentence will be displayed by the translation memory.

The translation memory houses the translation units, which are the elementary units that are broken into fragments and saved on the translation memory. There is no further breaking down of translation units, or else they won’t be identified by computer-assisted translation.

Text segments are accessed in the translation memory to ascertain if it can be reused again by showing the similarity percentage.