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New to Trados - How many memories shall I create?
Thread poster: CDenisot
CDenisot
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:20
English to French
+ ...
Feb 5, 2007

Hello everyone!

I am completely new to Trados and just taking my very first steps so please forgive me if my questions might sound stupid to the more experienced Translators!! I have aligned some texts and created memories but would like to know how is everyone else doing. Do you create a memory per translation, per area of specialization, per client? And what would be the disadvantages (if any) of creating only one big memory in which to save all translations done previously rather than lots of different and smaller memories? Many thanks for your suggestions!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:20
English to German
+ ...
Moving the topic... Feb 5, 2007

...to SDL Trados Support.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:20
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Client or project Feb 5, 2007

Hi,

I usually have one TM per client, if the jobs are usually in the same subject area. I also have separate TMs for big or recurring projects. Of course the client (I work for agencies only) may wish me to create a TM for a specific project or end client etc.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:20
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I create one TM for each case Feb 5, 2007

That usually means one TM for each separate court case, which works pretty well.

In the case of the agencies, there are some agencies which send me all the translations for one particular client of theirs, so then I have a special TM for that client.

I also have one for CVs (wherever they come from), one for trademark print-outs (wherever they come from), and so on.

Relatively small translation memories are easier to maintain. Also, if a TM becomes corrupt, for any reason, you do not want it to have absolutely everything in it!

In addition, certain phrases or sentences are translated differently in different contexts, so that it is better to have separate TMs for separate topics. I also have a lot of different - matching - Multiterm termbases. There again, it is better to have separate termbases for separate topics, and to select which ones are to be used for each new project, otherwise you get a lot of irrelevant terms thrown up (where the words have similar beginnings, or whatever).

Lastly, if you submit to the practice of providing agencies with a TM, then it cannot contain anything else besides what they gave you to translate, otherwise you will be sending them somebody else's confidential material.

Astrid


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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:20
Member
English to Spanish
Several TMs Feb 5, 2007

Hello!

I think it's easier and safer. I usually have one per topic and one per client. In addition, many agencies send you the TM and you need to keep it apart from the rest.

And I agree with Astrid: if you have many TMs you need not worry so much about any problem with one of them.

Regards,

Silvina


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:20
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
The more you have, the easier you loose control what is where Feb 5, 2007

There is of course no patented solution to this problem and it strongly depends on your personal needs.
However, for my own purposes I would create always only one TM per subject - for example one for mechanical engineering, one for electrical, one for courts and so on.
For customers I would than maintain their TMs as they wish them. This means I would have a TM for customer XY and ZX and ZZ and so on only for them, but work with my bigger TM for customer ZZ and ZX, if both deliver machines. Especially in Germany it is very likely, that there will be a lot of similarities.

This depends on what kind of textes you get and how big the probability is, that text from customer XY will be similar to the text from customer ZY. If they might be similar I don't like to write things twice or more times, so I use one big TM for all my customers. But as said, this varies from person to person.

Regards
Jerzy


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CDenisot
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hello again! Feb 5, 2007

Many thanks for your useful replies, it seems that you are all unanimous in saying that one big memory is not advisable so I will follow your advice...

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:20
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
You can build up and use a global TM too... Feb 5, 2007

CDenisot wrote:

Many thanks for your useful replies, it seems that you are all unanimous in saying that one big memory is not advisable so I will follow your advice...


You can always build a large TM starting from your partial smaller TMs.
It is just a matter of opening them all, one by one, and export their individual content. Then you can create a new empty global memory and import each one of the exported files, to build up a "big mama".

Such global memory could be useful in many situations, and you can refresh it at regular intervals.


Also, in several TM products, it is possible to run an "active memory" and one or more TMs in "background". The large TM could be used in the background, to find past sentences in any job, even if they are not related to the same subject/customer.
Your judgement will tell you if they are appropriate to the job in hand or not.


bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2007-02-05 20:42]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:20
English to French
+ ...
My way Feb 5, 2007

I always create a new TM for every single project. I use text labels for each TM, meaning that all units in the TM have labels attached mentioning the client, the subject area, the project in particular and even the type of document it is (user's manual, report, presentation, etc.).

Once I am done translating on a particular project, I import the TM associated to it into a bigger TM which is of the same subject. So, I have a video game TM, a mechanical engineering TM, an electrical engineering TM, an environment TM and so forth.

When I am working in Trados, my read-write TM is always the specific TM I created for that particular project, while my read-only TM is the big one that shares the subject area with the document I am working on.

By labeling translation units, you can really mix all kinds of different TMs together. When you search one of those big TMs, not only will you find the phrase you are looking for, but you will also have an idea of what project that unit has to do with, or which client's preferred term it is. Similarly, if I wanted to break up a large TM into smaller, more specialized ones (I once did this to make a compressor TM), I can simply export the units that specifically deal with that subject. In other words, by using text fields, you ensure that even if you mix all your TMs into a bigger one, you can always undo it.

All the best!

P.S.: I agree that it's best to avoid losing a huge TM. I therefore always keep the project specific TMs which I used to create the bigger ones. I put them into folders named after the "big mama" TM. I never use them, but at least I have back-ups in case something goes wrong (hasn't happened yet, let's keep our fingers crossed).

[Edited at 2007-02-05 21:30]


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:20
English to Dutch
+ ...
I Love Big Mama Feb 6, 2007

gianfranco wrote:

You can always build a large TM starting from your partial smaller TMs.
Such global memory could be useful in many situations, and you can refresh it at regular intervals.
Also, in several TM products, it is possible to run an "active memory" and one or more TMs in "background". The large TM could be used in the background, to find past sentences in any job, even if they are not related to the same subject/customer.
Your judgement will tell you if they are appropriate to the job in hand or not.

bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2007-02-05 20:42]


That's the way I do it too. But I do add a 'marker' (in Trados: Settings > Project and Filter Settings) to distinguish different clients. I think one big background TM is best, since "press button x" is the same in any subject matter and for all clients...
Of course, this "big mama" is very valuable, so I make a back-up EVERY DAY to a different physical hard drive. (In fact, I have created a batch file that automatically executes every time I startup my computer and that backs up this TM plus some other very important stuff)

HTH,
Jan Willem


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I never send a TM to an agency. Feb 6, 2007

Well, never is a big word, so maybe I have created a new one for a particular job once or twice, and delivered it along with the job. Occasionally agencies send me a TM and ask me to send an updated TM back, but normally this is not necessary.

Instead, I very often send both cleaned and uncleaned files to the agency. They can then run the uncleaned files through their own TM to suit their system and the end client.

Then for instance they can coordinate the English (my translation) with watever other languages they have, or my project with work by other translators etc. etc.

Personally, I have never sent a TM to a direct client as I have very few, but here you have to agree with the client in advance what goes in and what you do with it.

If I set up a TM I regard it as mine, but of course if the client sends you one, then it is at least partly theirs.

I keep large TMs (by language and subject area, e.g. Danish Law, Danish menus and food industry, Swedish clients in the timber industry... etc.) to take advantage of large collections of terminology.

I always archive backup copies of uncleaned files, so I could make a separate TM for a client if necessary. I know about the labelling system, but I'm not good at using it!

Setting up and merging TMs is in fact quite easy, so I frequently start new ones. Then, when they fall into natural categories, I take backups of them and import them into the big TMs by category.

When I am sure the merged TM works, I back it up and delete the old ones - otherwise it is impossible to keep them all up to date.



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Elzbieta
Netherlands
Local time: 20:20
Dutch to Polish
+ ...
One big TM + attributes Feb 6, 2007

Just like Viktoria, I always label each translation unit with client, subject, project and document type fields. But I keep all my translations in one big TM. If needed, it is always possible to prioritize or filter out the relevant translations by using filters, penalties and export options. It works pretty well for me. I also have an external drive for daily backup and keep there the 5 last versions of each file, so even in case of a crash (or some stupid mistake) I could always go back to the previous day version. The last day input can be then easily re-created from the uncleaned files.

I think that creating separate TM for every single project takes away the main advantage of using a CAT tool, as you still have to memorize yourself how you translated a certain term of expression before, instead of leaving this task to your software.

Personally, I would advise you not to divide your main TMs more than per subject (and language, of course). Those subject specific TMs can be your normal, working TMs but also the solution with small current project TMs plus one big read-only TM, where all finished projects are merged into, looks fine to me.

Only if a client sends you their own TM, it's beter to keep it separately because it may contain previous translations done by other translators, you may not always agree with, so you wouldn't like to merge it with your own, proven TM.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:20
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
One big TM + attributes Feb 6, 2007

this is also my way, and I thought I found what I was looking for.
Unfortunatelly you may not let grow your TM over a certain amount uf TUs in it. I experienced this very painfuly half a year ago, as my main TM reached roughly 850.000 TUs. I'm not able to open it with SDL Trados 2006 Freelance
Although Trados Support means, they were able to open a TM with some 1.4 million entries, but this must vary from PC to PC.
Just for the record: my PC has 4 GB (gigabyte!) RAM, which is the maximal possible amount for Windows XP. And even with so big memory I'm not able to open a TM with more than 855.000 entries. What makes the situation somehow funny is, that sometimes I'm able to open 850.000 TUs, and just another day only 830.000 and so on...

Nevertheless, if you plan to use one big TM, be carefull when it grows... I hope the next main release of SDL Trados will be able to handle such big TMs. The only advice I got from the support in my case (not able to open a big TM) was to split the TM into smaller pieces.

Best regards
Jerzy


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