Ensuring Effective Translations - Translation Memory

Written by Be4ward on 28/02/2021

Ensuring Effective Translations - Translation Memory

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

Plan your updates

It is important to plan ahead for eventual updates. This will help minimise 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

Without doubt, 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 familiarise themselves with how important it is to build a strong translation memory for their translation projects.  They do not always realise 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 or 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, effectively a melting pot, containing all their client’s terminology and style, neglecting to personalise each TM by client.

This disorganised 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 maximise the use of TMs:

  • 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

Lastly, a quick recap on our 10 steps for Ensuring Effective Translations:

Step 1: Define your approach to translation- the activities you need to do in your organisation to set out how you will manage translations across the company.

Step 2Initiate your project- the steps you would take to start an individual translation project and set the project up for success.

Step 3Preparing text for translation - tips for how to make sure that the text that you're supplying for translation is prepared to allow a high quality translation.

Step 4Choosing a translation provider - tips to ensure that the translation provider you propose to use if fit for purpose.

Step 5Translation specifications - how to establish a set of standards for working with your translation provider.

Step 6Briefing your translation provider - how to instruct the translation provider to undertake the project you want translated.

Step 7Preparing your translation - the preparation of the translation at the translation provider.

Step 8Reviewing your translation - the quality assurance steps undertaken to make sure the translation is correct

Step 9Approving the translation - the formal approval of the translation.

Step 10: Securely store approved files and build translation memory - how to ensure effective document management and how to start building a library of standard phrases.

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. If we can be of assistance to you and your company, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

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