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Translation Memory (TM) Explained

How Does Translation Memory Work?

In order to understand your total savings, it is necessary to explain the various dimensions of multilingual communication. For example, an international auto maker has three car models (economy, mid-range and luxury). The company produces content in a variety of media - print, internet, legal, marketing and sales. Each piece of material has a high degree of overlapping or repetitive content. Each time a new feature is added all of the content must be updated, as well as the translated versions of the material.

By leveraging state-of-the-art, database enabled translation memory, all the content and the translated versions of the content can be updated and recycled by the software. This process ensures vocabulary consistency throughout all the material and saves you from investing in the same translations twice.

What are the Benefits of Translation Memory (TM)?

TM leverages state-of-the-art database technologies to capture and recycle human intelligence. By memorizing a translator's past work, TM offers dramatic productivity and efficiency gains on future projects, at the same time raising the bar for quality and consistency. The database relieves translators of repetitive work and time-consuming searches for changes in revised documents, archived work and terminology. With Translator's Workbench, the translator retains full control over content and quality.

An Example of Translation Memory Savings

Let's assume a sample project of 100,000 words costing $0.30 per word. The normal cost for translation into a single language would be $30,000.00. By utilizing translation technology tools such as TM you can see the savings immediately.

Content Breakdown Words Price Without TM Price With TM
Identical (repetitive) content 15,000 $4,500 $1,800
(40% of original cost)
Similar material (75-99% match) 25,000 $7,500 $4,950
(66% of original cost)
New content 60,000 $18,000 $18,000
Total 100,000 $30,000 $24,750
(A 17.5% cost savings!)
For each foreign language, the same cost savings and process efficiencies are realized across all media and content.
Note: Pricing schemes vary in the industry, the figures shown here are for example only.

As the above illustrates, the ability to utilize translation memory significantly increases both flexibility and total potential for savings.

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