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History (origins) of Translation Memory
Thread poster: 00ZE
Local time: 08:34
Belarusian to English
Apr 7, 2008

Hi, everyone!

The info I am looking for is quite hard to find. It is just for my paper at the University, but the harder it is getting to find out the more interested in it I become.
The problem is that during the history this technology has been given different names: example based machine translation, bitext, parallel text and scientist cannot still agree whether these are the same things.

Example based machine translation was first suggested by Nagao Makoto in 1984 (Japan). (Wiki source)

The idea of the bitext is attributed to Brian Harris, who first wrote a paper on the concept in 1988 (France, I suppose). (Wiki source)

Some work has been done by IBM group. But nothing can be known about works of IBM, as it seems they try hard to keep the Inet free from their research results.

It is well known that Translation Memory is used in Trados. The thing is that Trados was founded in 1984 by two German programmers and at the beginning they suppleid translation services to IBM. (

THE QUESTION IS how did the example based technology that, was not seriously taken at the beginning (in 1984), come to Germany where Trados using this technology was founded in 1984?

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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:34
German to English
+ ...
Possible article Apr 8, 2008

Perhaps you have seen it, but in case it helps:
"Machine Translation: A Brief History" by John Hutchins.

Or an MA thesis by Francie Gow which includes some historical references:

To find more, you could simply Google with various combinations.
e.g. "history of translation" combined with more specific search terms,
such as "ebmt", "machine translation" or similar.
(That is how I found these links).

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Local time: 08:34
Belarusian to English
Source of information Apr 8, 2008

Thanks for the links. I also found them. They are the most informative about the issue.

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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:34
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Before Trados Apr 8, 2008

I believe that there were translation memory tools that actually predated Trados. You might want to search for XL8 and Ink Tools, from way back then - these might actually have predated Trados.

First time I saw Trados, I was working at Logos, in Modena... must have been the early 90's. Trados, at that time, was still a DOS program. I also was one of the very first adopters of DV: I must still have somewhere a very early version of DV with serial number 7.

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