RE: Translation Memory System

Subject: RE: Translation Memory System
From: "Glenn Maxey" <glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 16:06:26 -0600

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Rick
> Kirkham
> Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 10:44 AM
> Cc: 'frank -dot- semrau -at- inka -dot- de'
> Subject: RE: Translation Memory System
> 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.

The decision on whether or not you should own a CAT tool really depends on:

(1) How many languages you are supporting.

(2) How big the source documentation is.

(3) How many output formats you support for a given source.

If you are supporting lots of foreign languages, it can make sense to own a
CAT, because there is preparation that you can accomplish in house much
cheaper than repeatedly by each translator.

For example, if your source is FM (and assuming Trados), you can do the
preparatory work to get translation-ready RTF files that all of the
translation offices use.

If your source documentation is huge, chances are that release-to-release
the changes (not brand new material) are going to be small and localized.
Hence, if you have a CAT with the translation memory from the first release,
you can save money by doing it yourself except for the "fuzzy matches" or
"no matches". Those you extract and send to your translators. [When you get
the updated translation memory back, you run it again and have the fuzzy/no
matches fixed automatically.]

If you can reduce the amount of text that the translators have to look at
even with a tool, you'll bring down the costs of subsequent update
translations. Typically, translators will charge 20% of the full translation
just to open a file and run translation memory against a file that they
previously translated. In other words, they aren't doing anything except
running a tool that could very well "100% match" everything, yet you'll be
billed 20% of the full translation cost.

If you have many output formats, having the CAT in house can save you money.
Translation memory stores information on a sentence level. It's smart enough
to know about formatting and hyperlink information to still give fuzzy
matches when doing a new output format. Hence, you can sometimes leverage
the translation memory from one output format into the translating other
output formats in house. (You don't always have to understand the output
language completely in order to place format and hyperlink tags, but it
certainly helps.)

On the minus side, you'll have to pay someone to do this work in addition to
buying the CAT. Again, it depends on the scope of 1, 2, and 3 above.

> 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.

Owning the CAT and sending someone to training gives you the insight into
knowing what the translators need and should deliver. It also gives you
insight into what you can accomplish in-house.

Frank, you're in Germany and your posting was English. I suspect you're
bilingual and probably do small English/German translations. You'll find
Trados a big help even for small projects not related to the big French

I've done lots of German/English translations. One of the last projects was
a hardware manual. Trados saved me a ton of time and assured consistency.

Glenn Maxey
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
Tel. +1 303.223.5164
Fax. +1 303.223.5275
glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com


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RE: Translation Memory System: From: Rick Kirkham

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