4 benefits of using translation memories

translation memories
(Last Updated On: January 16, 2024)

Our grammar teachers may have taught us to think outside the box, but most writing comprises clichés and set phrases. Writing that doesn’t use words we are used to may sound off or unprofessionally done. That is the basis of translation memories.

Nowadays, translation agencies are increasingly using tools in the translation process. Translation memories are an example of this. With the so-called translation memory, translators can translate texts faster and more efficiently. But what exactly is translation memory, and what are its benefits?

A translation memory is a software database that contains source language content and the corresponding target language translations. These existing translations can be used in new translation projects to speed up the translation process and reduce costs.

In addition, the customer can provide a term list, also called TM/ Termbase (TB), with translated words and phrases. This creates a database of unique words and phrases matching customer preferences. Professional translators translate texts more consistently, carefully, and efficiently thanks to translation memory. When this option is enabled, Lokalise fetches each base language value from the uploaded file and searches for a matching entry in the translation memory among your selected language pairs.

To maintain accurate version control, all users should follow strict access restrictions. A reading/write rights procedure should be implemented to ensure that the most recent, most up-to-date version of the TM and Termbase is shared. Instead of only one, having several copies of TM/ Termbases might be employed; users could read all TMs and Termbases but only ‘write to one,’ which would assist in ensuring accurate version control on their own.

Translation memory or translation memory – this technology allows you to reuse previous translations and thus saves a considerable amount of time and money. For example, when translating standard contracts, product catalogs, and user manuals, up to 95% of the content does not change from text to text. The translation memory automatically handles repetitions and allows the translator to focus only on the new material.

How does the translation memory work in practice?

In practice, translation memory is a valuable tool for the professional translator. When the translator translates a text in translation units, the translation software makes suggestions from the translation memory to the translator. The software can, e.g. For example, indicate that there is a match between a sentence in a text to be translated and a penalty in the translation memory. The translation software then suggests that the translator use the translation from the translation memory. Ultimately, the translator decides whether or not to use the translation from the translation memory.

In a team, translators can use translations made by their colleagues. It creates channels that reduce time and effort for the human translator. This keeps the text consistent and saves even more resources. Almost all professional translators use translation memory.

Translation memory program examples

  • SDL Trados
  • Across Translation Editor
  • Kilgray memoQ
  • XTM Editor
  • Memsource Editor and Web Editor
  • Wordfast Anywhere and Wordfast Pro
  • Transit NXT
  • Fluency Translation Suite
  • Wordbee Translator
  • smartling
  • Multitrans
  • Ontram
  • April Deja vu X
  • Cafe Tran Espresso

Free translation memory software

  • MateCat
  • Google Translator Toolkit
  • Omega-T
  • SmartCAT
  • Memsource personal edition

Translation memory versus translation machine

The translation memory is often compared to a translation machine. However, there is a significant difference between a translation memory and a translation engine. An exact game appears when the match between the current source segment and the stored one is a character-by-character match. If you use multiple translation memories, more than one TM may have a 101% match for the current segment. The TM tools also include productivity features like Concordance – a TM search function and automatic lookup of similar segments already in the TM. Companies will create separate TMs for each language pair, content type, use case, etc. Providing consistent translations is an integral part of a translator’s job—one of their main quality criteria.

This will ensure that the TM is current for future translation projects. A translation engine, for example, does not pay attention to consistency. This means that different translations may be used for the same word. Also, unlike the translation memory, the option to deliver talks and sentences is unavailable. The result is that the translation engine determines the translation, not the translator. We, therefore, advise against using translation machines for professional translations. Identical source segments are called 100% matches.

What are the benefits of translation memories?

It remembers the phrases and sentences used for reading and hearing and their translation. Then, when a translator uses the memory technology, that system will provide the translator with the past translation already made in the past for a specific phrase. Individual translators no longer sit in a cubicle surrounded by dictionaries and thesauruses, slavishly interpreting your documents.

quicker translation

Advantage Of Translation Memory

A Translation Memory is Necessary For Cost Savings and Consistent

Business communication almost always relies on and builds upon material already created unless the company is new. Similarly, all segments in the target file without a match need to be translated manually. A translation memory appears under the text box, indicating 87% fuzzy matches from a previous project.

Quicker translation

With just a touch of a button or the click of the mouse, most standard phrases can be converted to the target language equivalent at once—no need to type it up. Adjust the match percentage, choose a language, and click Apply.


Now and again, phrases or even whole sentences can be translated differently. Or a project would be divided among translators with other word and syntax preferences. Even though these ways are all correct, the client casts doubt on them and will call you out on a possible error because you used different combinations of words in the target language for the same sentences in the source language. The memory ensures that you and others will always use the same formula for the same places.


Thanks to the translation memory, the translator can translate texts faster and of higher quality. The larger the translation memory, the quicker the texts can be solved. With the translation memory, the customer receives the translated texts more quickly.

Shared knowledge

As much as other people can benefit from your input to the memory, you will benefit from other people’s information. And they don’t even have to work on the same project or for the same agency or client as you do. They can even be on the opposite side of the globe. This is especially useful for newly coined terms, or only a native would know.

Cost Savings

Since the translation software analyzes the texts with the translation memory, it immediately shows what needs to be translated and whether it is in it. This allows the translator to solve more efficiently and saves time. This is an advantage because the costs of translating texts are low!

Permanent memory storage

Let’s face it. Even a professional translator with many years of experience can’t remember everything, especially on topics they rarely encounter. And when they come across the word again, they might already have forgotten it. Translation memories can help store any new information and will always be there, so you won’t have to research if you ever need it again.

shared knowledge

Not the same as machine translation

This particular service is not the same as machine translation. Machine translation is a tool that may provide you with fast results but is a variant of the accuracy it offers to the clients. On the other hand, translation memory provides a precise translation from effectively increasing and reliable database storage.

Unlike online translation tools, a professional translator carries out the actual translation, which can only provide accuracy to a certain extent. Furthermore, these native translators are experienced in their background to deliver the best of their skills.

Human translator

Unlike online translation tools, a professional translator carries out the actual translation, which can only provide accuracy to a certain extent. Furthermore, these native translators are experienced in their background to deliver the best of their skills.


This particular tool offers the company credible trust. The clients can easily rely on the services provided by the company because of the delivery of accurate translations. The translation acquired is edited and proof-checked with past resources to gather as much precision as possible.

Cost-Saving Over Time

Through this translation method, clients can relish a cost-effective, less time-consuming translation experience, greatly aiding the client from every sector. The memory technology may not be perfect, but there’s no denying its usefulness.

Translation Memory in the Perfect Translation Agency

We at Universal Translation Services also use translation memories to translate texts professionally. With our translation software and memory, we can solve your readers efficiently, quickly, and accurately. The process is quite simple and transparent:

First, we analyze the texts together. For example, we analyze the purpose of the readers the tone of voice and look for specific terms and words that are characteristic of the readers. The texts are then translated into other languages.

During this translation process, you always have the opportunity to indicate preferences and provide feedback on the translations. For this reason, Universal Translation Services works perfectly with you to ensure the perfect translation of the texts.

SDL Trados Studio

Freelance or Starter licenses are desktop licenses that only run on workgroup-based networks. A CAT tool is a broad term that typically includes programs facilitating translation.

CAT Tools for Quality Translations

Ensuring top-notch translation quality is a priority in my work, especially through Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. CAT tools help achieve exact matches between source and target texts, optimizing efficiency and precision. These tools accommodate various file formats, allowing seamless integration of source files for a perfect match in the translation process.

The utilization of translation memory technology is a powerful tool in maintaining consistency and accuracy throughout the localization process. Through effective translation management, CAT tools enhance productivity by leveraging previously translated content, ensuring a high standard of quality in every project.

In the translation industry, the concept of fuzzy matching plays a pivotal role in ensuring the accuracy of translation jobs. Fuzzy matching helps identify and retrieve correct translations by recognizing variations in the source text. Various types of translation memory, stored in a dedicated translation memory database, contribute to maintaining consistency across projects.

Effective terminology management ensures consistent usage of terms, enhancing overall quality and user experience. This meticulous approach not only improves the correctness of translations but also contributes to faster turnaround times, particularly in projects like user guides where precision and clarity are crucial for an optimal user experience.

Efficient Technical Translation with Collaboration and Tools

Technical manuals play a vital role in various industries, and efficient translation is crucial for their global dissemination. Translation Memory (TM) systems are indispensable tools in this process, maintaining a database of previous translation entries to ensure consistency across documents. Translation management systems, often equipped with built-in translation memory features, streamline the workflow of a translation team.

Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, integrated with TM, enhance the accuracy and speed of translations. The cost of translation is significantly reduced as these tools leverage existing translations through context matches, improving efficiency in a localization project for technical manuals.

Effective collaboration between freelance translators or within a team is essential for successful language projects. In the modern era, technology plays a pivotal role in this collaboration. Neural networks and Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools facilitate seamless communication and shared resources among translators. Translation Web Services and Translation Memory databases offer centralized platforms for storing and retrieving translation assets.

The use of Translation Memory eXchange formats enhances interoperability, allowing easy exchange of content for translation between different tools and platforms. This technological synergy optimizes the collaborative efforts of translators, ensuring efficiency and consistency in the translation process.

Streamlining Localization of Matches, Integrity, Flexibility

In the localization process, a source text segment refers to a portion of the original source content within a source text file. Identical matches between source text segments and the original source contribute to high match rates, streamlining the translation workflow. Localization providers utilize these identical matches to ensure consistency in terminology across target segments, maintaining the integrity of the content.

Additionally, time stamps may be applied to track the last modification or update, facilitating efficient project management. The ability to work within the native format of the source text file enhances the flexibility and accuracy of the localization process.

Addressing contamination issues in data management is a critical aspect, often seen as a management issue in various industries. Identifying potential issues is essential, and dynamic confidence scores play a role in assessing the degree of confidence in data accuracy.

It is standard practice to integrate business expertise into decision-making processes aligning decisions with business goals. This common practice ensures that language professionals, equipped with their expertise, contribute effectively to decision-making processes, mitigating risks associated with data contamination and fostering informed business decisions.

CAT Tools and Legal Translation Best Practices

A reliable Internet connection is integral to seamless project management, particularly when utilizing Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) software. Bilingual databases store earlier texts and creative content, offering valuable resources for translation projects.

CAT software aids in maintaining consistency and reducing the likelihood of incorrect translations by leveraging pre-translation functionalities. The process of pre-translation enhances efficiencies for translation units, allowing translators to build upon existing work and ensuring a high standard of accuracy and coherence in the final output.

A flat translation memory repository is a valuable resource in the domain of legal translations. When working with Machine Translation (MT), the translation quality driver is often influenced by the output of machine translation software. To avoid translation memory pollution and ensure reliable results, translation programs are configured to optimize settings within the translation memory repository.

This ensures that most translation memories remain accurate and reliable. This configuration, often found in Settings > Translation Memories, is crucial for maintaining the integrity and quality of translations, especially in the context of legal content.

Human vs. Machine Translation Benefits

Human translation holds a distinct advantage over machine translation, providing a nuanced and contextually accurate rendering of the source sentence. While machine translation proper has its applications, leveraging Resources > Translation Memories allows a more refined and precise approach to translation memory matching.

This approach involves utilizing a corpus-based general-purpose knowledge source, enhancing correspondences between the source and target languages. By adopting this nuanced approach within the translation solution, human translators can offer a level of understanding and contextual fluency that surpasses the capabilities of machine translation applications.

The match level is a crucial aspect in the localization process, and linear matches play a significant role in achieving consistency. Utilizing a Localization Kit provided by a localization company ensures a streamlined approach to the localization program.

This kit often includes key terminology and a terminology database, aiding in maintaining uniformity across various types of documents. Whether it’s standard documents or specialized formats like XML Documents, having a comprehensive approach to match levels and key terminology proves essential for the success of the current localization process.

Terminology Consistency & Collaboration in Translation

Ensuring consistent terminology is a fundamental practice in translation, bolstered by the use of translation memory entries. Effective collaboration between a team of translators is crucial, particularly when dealing with creative texts that require a nuanced approach. Pre-translation, which involves leveraging machine translation software output, is a common step, especially when dealing with large volumes of content within a document file.

This process not only enhances efficiency but also allows decisions to be aligned with broader business goals. The collaborative effort of a team of translators, coupled with technology applications like machine translation, ensures that each document is leveraged effectively, saving time and promoting accuracy. Content editing decisions should harmonize with the broader business goals within the editing environment.

Aligning decisions with business goals is crucial for strategic success.

Translation memories, known in the industry as TM, are databases in which we store the texts that we translate for you. A TM is set up for a specific language combination and enables the reuse of previously translated words, phrases, and readers. It makes your company’s communication more consistent and reduces your translation costs.

Translation memories offer many benefits to both translators and clients. The actual translation process is shortened, the TM ensures standardization of the terminology of your company texts, and your translations are cheaper.

Translation memory management is one of the terms frequently used by language industry professionals. It usually appears on the web page in the list of benefits that the language service provider can offer you. Translation memory management ensures that any existing translations are of the highest possible quality so you can get the most out of them.

Before thinking about translation memory management, it is essential to understand what you manage! In the STAR Group proprietary tool Transit NXT, translation memories are stored as language pairs that can be opened and modified using Transit NXT. Other translation memory tools store translation memories in database files, usually in XLIFF or XML format.

One of the most helpful software resources for translators is translation memory. These databases, which retain prior translations, help speed up the translation process while ensuring consistency in language and tone between projects. However, with time and with use, TMs can get clogged with obsolete translation choices, inexact alignments, duplication, and other issues. To avoid this, it is a good idea to do translation memory maintenance regularly.

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