RE: Translation Memory System

Subject: RE: Translation Memory System
From: Rick Kirkham <rkirkham -at- seagullscientific -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:43:46 -0700

"Frank W.Semrau" <frank -dot- semrau -at- inka -dot- de> wrote:

> The company I work for as a freelancer plans to expand business into
> and French speaking markets.
> Now, they asked me to inform them about options using a Translation Memory
> Systems (TMS).
> I would appreciate help a lot on this topic, e.g., relevent websites,
> benchmarking information, etc.

A translatiom memory system is a component of a larger type of application
called a CAT (Computer Aided Translation). Unless your company hires a
French translator as a direct hire, they probably won't want to actually own
a CAT tool. CATs are owned by translators. After each translation project,
the translator will send your company the updated translation memory file
(along with the translated document). The company stores the file between
translation projects and then sends it, along with the English original, to
a translator at the start of the next translation project. Each CAT saves
its memory files in a proprietary format by default, however, each is
capable of saving the files also as delimited text files and/or as files in
a branch of XML called TMX (Translation Memory Exchange language). These
text or TMX files can be used by any of the other CATs. Accordingly, your
company should insist that, among the deliverables, the translators must
send the translation memory saved both in the proprietary format of the
translator's CAT and in text or TMX format. This gives the company the
freedom on their next translation project to shop around among all
translators and translation agencies regardless of what CAT they own.

There are a small number CATs on the market. I'm not a translator myself,
but this is what I found searching the web and reading online reviews of
these products:

The best CAT seems to be Deja Vu from Language Partners, based on
comparative reviews. Its web site is:

The best-selling is TRADOS. See:

IBM has one that lacks some features:

Catalyst is oriented to translating strings within software code, such as
button/menu names, and error messages. It is not a good tool for
documents/help or any material that has a lot of multi-sentence paragraphs.
It was recently sold by Corel to Language Partners:

Least known, but well reviewed is Transit from Star:

There may be others that I did not find. In particular, if there are any
that don't have an English web site, I would not know about them.


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