Ensuring Effective Translations – Translation Memory

Ensuring Effective Translations – Translation Memory

As we complete this series of articles expanding on Ensuring Effective Translations, the next set of tips are to help you plan to have effective document management and how to start building a library of standard phrases.

Securely store approved files and build translation memory

  • Plan your updates.

It is important to plan ahead for eventual updates. This will help minimize re-work that may impact your budget and schedule. There are several cost effective ways to coordinate your future updates. Your technical document translation service provider should be able to help advise you on the best way to move forward on this is.

  • Intelligently conduct change management of your documents.

It is without a doubt that edits are going to happen in the lifecycle of a document. However, in order to reduce costs and problems down the line, it would be prudent and wise to establish a documented plan for updating your documents. Furthermore, in order to avoid minimum charges or recurring processing fees, consider having any changes done in batches.

  • Build a strong translation memory (TM)

It is important for companies to familiarize themselves on how important it is to build a strong translation memory for their translation projects.  They do not always realize the large number of real benefits it can bring if it is used in the most efficient way. More particularly, they do not take into consideration the importance of TM management as a fundamental criterion in the selection of their translator provider.  The problem is that many translator providers do not indicate nor offer advice on the required attention to the creation and maintenance of a strong TM.

Problems tend to arise when:

  • There is a lack of discipline to update TMs with the most recent changes made during proofreading and therefore critical information and corrections made by the reviewer may be lost. By not having an updated list, the TM is composed of inaccurate content that can cause potential mistakes in future translations.
  • They keep a master TM that encompasses a mismatch of all segments (a melting pot) containing all their client’s terminology and style and therefore, neglecting to personalise each TM by client.

This unorganized way of managing TMs does not allow for the full benefits for which it was originally intended. It’s essence and reason for being is to store quality linguistic data that will serve to ensure efficiency and better quality in future translations.

In order to maximize the use of TM’s:

  • One TM per client: It is a good idea to ask your translator provider to ensure that they build a TM specifically for your company. You can go so far as to ask they do so for each of your divisions or product groups (if necessary).
  • Verified Quality Process: Make sure your translator provider has a consistent quality process when it comes to TM maintenance. This means that they do regular updates for all your new projects that include every change made during proofreading.
  • Costs / Access: Ask your translator providers if there are fees to maintain the TM and if this includes access to it anytime.
  • Past Projects: You may want to consider asking your translator provider if they can create a TM based on past translation projects. They may be able to build it for you if you can provide them with a quality document.

You will come to find that there are many benefits to building a strong TM. This will allow your future projects to have:

  • Faster turnaround times
  • Increased cost effectiveness
  • High quality and consistency
  • Preservation of your company terminology and writing style


We hope you found this series informative and useful.  We are always searching for ways to improve our work and would welcome any feedback from you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at enquiries@be4ward.com.

Should you have any questions about this or any other of my blogs, or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Andrew.love@be4ward.com.

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Ensuring Effective TranslationArtwork 20 tips Cover15 Proofreading MistakesReducing Recall Risk



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