SDL Trados Translation Memory FAQ’s

When would I use a translation memory?

Translation memories should be used by anyone who localizes content from one language into another. When a translator’s jobs regularly contain the same kinds of phrases and sentences, a translation memory will drastically increase the speed of translation.

Translation memories are also very helpful when translating content out of context. An increasing number of organizations rely on Content Management Systems (CMS) to manage their information. A CMS allows individual blocks of text, rather than entire documents, to be created/edited and then published in a variety of different formats. A translation memory helps to make this process quicker and more consistent.

How does a translation memory differ from a termbase?

A translation memory stores segments of text as translation units. A segment can consist of a sentence or paragraph. The TM holds both the original and translated version of each segment for reuse.

A termbase, on the other hand, is a searchable database that contains a list of multilingual terms and rules regarding their usage.

A translation memory is typically used in conjunction with a termbase within SDL Trados Studio.

How does translation memory software differ from machine translation?

Machine translation refers to automated translation by a computer, without human input.

Translation memory software requires human input as it reuses content that has been previously translated to complete new translation work. The original translation is performed by a professional translator.

Machine translation may be used in conjunction with a translation memory to improve the speed of translation. For example, when a translation memory does not have enough information to complete a segment of text, SDL Language Cloud Machine Translation can be used to automatically complete the segment. The translator may then edit the machine translation and save the completed segment to the translation memory so it may be reused later.

Can SDL translation memories work with many different file formats?

Yes. SDL translation memories are used within SDL Trados Studio, which is compatible with a wide range of file formats. These include Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, RTF, Tab Delimited, HTML and XML.

We also support complex formats like Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe InDesign/InDesign Markup Language (IDML) and InCopy Markup Language (ICML), PDF, XLIFF, and XML flavours such as DITA, Docbook and W3C ITS.

Does SDL Trados Studio come pre-packed with translation memories?

Translation memories are created from the completed translations of a translator, and are not pre-packaged with SDL Trados Studio. By translating within Studio or analysing previously translated content, a translation is built using your own work.

How do I make a translation memory using my previous translations?

SDL Trados Studio includes an Alignment feature which enables the creation of a translation memory by comparing original and translated documents you have completed in the past. This is a simple process and allows you to leverage all of your past work, even if you have never used Studio to translate before.

How a translation memories saved?

Translation memories are not kept within SDL Trados Studio – they are stored as the SDLTM file format. They may be stored locally or across a network.

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