Translation Memories: Four Benefits For Your Business


Translation tools have changed and thoroughly optimized the work done by translation agencies.

But these systems don’t just make things better for us as translators—they also make our clients happy and help them save money.

How? Let’s take a look.

First of all, let’s set the stage.

Have you ever heard of translation memories?

It’s one of the functions specific to CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools. These monitor the translation job in real time in order to compile words, phrases, expressions, and styles.

As the translator works, the memory gathers information and, when it finds repetitions or similarities, it suggests an immediate replacement with equivalent text that it has already saved.

How does this benefit the client?

1. Transference
2. Coherence and uniformity
3. Time savings
4. Budget optimization

1. Transference

Every client is “their own translation memory.” That means that it is 100% transferable.

If, after working for a length of time with “x” provider, a company decides to work with us, we will receive all the information that has already been gathered by the software and have it on hand as we work.

Translation memories can also be transferred between various members of the same team at a single translation agency. Any translator can take over their colleague’s project without a hitch.

This relates directly to our next point.

2. Coherence and uniformity

By collecting data, we can guarantee that texts are coherent and uniform.
As we said, five translators could be working on different parts of the same extensive document. No problem. The style will always be consistent.

3. Time savings

This point might be more self-evident than the rest. It’s obvious that a system that “saves” this kind of information and replaces repetitions will ensure that the job gets done faster.

Even better, the longer we work with the same client, the memory will continue to grow, enabling us to work faster without jeopardizing quality.

Which leads us to our next point.

4. Budget optimization

When translations are completed faster, the savings are passed on to the client. It’s that simple. But how is the budget calculated?

A client submits an order with the documents to be translated. The software compares the document to be translated against segments already stored in the translation memory. It determines the degree of equivalence, expressed in percentages; every value has an associated rate:

  • Fuzzy matches (54% – 94%)
  • Nearly exact matches (95% – 99%)
  • Exact matches (100%)
  • Exact matches in context (101%)

There may also be repetitions within the text itself (that is, phrases or expressions that aren’t in the memory, but which repeat within the text).

These three variables are directly linked to the estimate. More matches mean more segments that are automatically replaced by the memory, resulting in a lower estimate.

More technology. More tools. More benefits.

The world of software is full of applications and systems that simplify any professional’s daily workload. CAT tools are, without a doubt, one of the most practical and convenient applications in our line of work.

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