The translation industry is very different now than it was 15 years ago. In a fast-paced world governed by technological change, it’s understandable that globally operating businesses should want to see translations delivered quickly but without any reduction in quality. Our clients often ask us how we can achieve this, and it’s usually at this point that we start mentioning translation memory and Translation Management Servers (TMS). Whether or not they’ve heard these terms before, in particular, clients want to understand:

  • what they are
  • why they are so important, and
  • how they can improve the quality and consistency of our translations.

Same words, different meaning

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that you come to us and order a 50-page translation. We can do the translation in Microsoft Word or any other word processor, and deliver it to you in good time. A little later, you come back and order the translation of a similar text. In this second document there are several expressions and other parts of sentences that were also present in the first document. We call these ‘repetitions’.

The translators will remember how they translated some expressions but they will not exactly remember all of them word for word. After all, translators are human beings and when it comes to a 50-page translation, it may occur that some phrases and terms will be slightly different between documents. Now, this may not be a problem in everyday conversation, but when it comes to professional lingo, it’s unacceptable, and may cause considerable confusion amongst the target audience.

So what can be done about it?

Translating the jargon

This is where translation memory and translation memory software come in, and is why professional translation agencies don’t translate any longer in Word (or any other word processor whatsoever).

  • The translation memory software records every single part of the first translation. When it comes to translating the second document, the software will warn the translator how that phrase has already been translated. The result is absolute consistency through thousands of pages of translations.
  • When it comes to really big translations, you might have already guessed that more than one translator works on them simultaneously. A simple translation memory is therefore not enough, so we make use of a database known as the translation management (or memory) server. The revolutionary invention here is that hundreds of translators can work on the same text and produce a perfect translation because the server records every single previously translated part of the document.

It is through these modern methods that we can preserve both quality and style. Quality, because every single previously translated expression and phrase can be re-used again and again; and style, because the translation server will not only display the term that was previously translated, but the whole context of that term. Translators can even discuss and agree on the better version to use and the result will always be ultimate quality.

Only the best for us and our clients

As far as our translation company is concerned, we use the best available translation server and, if need be, can translate hundreds of pages overnight. Translation servers are usually a serious one-time investment for any translation company, but in the long run, they are really paying off.

To our existing clients – we trust this has helped answer your questions about our methods and assured you that your translation requirements are in safe hands. We value your ongoing business.

And if you are reading this as a prospective customer dissatisfied with the service you have received elsewhere, we’re here to get the job done consistently in line with your needs. Why not give us a try?

We’re ready and waiting to translate your documents, whatever the size!