Translation memory usage
Thread poster: Dumitra

Dumitra
Local time: 10:22
Aug 15, 2012

Hello,
I've never used translation memories.
It would seem to me that you can only use one if the source language was wriitten in a text editor.
Is that true?
Otherwise you could only verify the terms used with it, but it wouldn't lower the cost of translation, for an employer, right?.
Also, is their an open source translation memory online I can download?

Thank you.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You need a CAT (Computer Aided Translation tool) Aug 15, 2012

A CAT is a program that builds up a translation memory as you translate, and retrieves sentences from the memory if there is already one that is similar to the one you are working on.

The source text must be machine readable, in a text-processing program like Word, or in a format that your CAT can work with. Many of them can work with text in desktop publishing programs like Quark and InDesign too, and most can deal with Excel and PowerPoint.

PDF files cause problems, but there are ways of extracting text from them for translation with a CAT. A lot depends on how the document is formatted.

Several CATS offer a free demo version, so that you can try them out before you spend money buying one. If you have the patience to try them out, you can find the one that suits you best, or is best for the kind of documents you work with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation_memory tells you a little about them.

There is more here:
http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Free_Software_for_Translators

I have never used OmegaT, but it is a free CAT tool with most of the functions you will need, including 'alignment', which means building up translation memories from earlier translated documents.
This enables you to choose reliable material to build up your own translation memories.

You need to be careful if you exchange translation memories with others - only accept them from reliable colleagues or agencies you trust. Otherwise they may contain errors or poor translations. Some agencies take great care to build up good translation memories for their clients, while others never change anything, and the errors accumulate.

Of course, you are not bound by the translation memory - they can be corrected or changed whenever you like, but this takes time, and a memory full of errors is no advantage to anyone.

That was just a brief introduction. It is easiest if you can find a colleague who can spend a couple of hours showing you how a CAT tool works, but others have readn the manuals and worked out for themselves how to use them.

Best of luck!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Dumitra and Christine Aug 15, 2012

Dumitra wrote:
It would seem to me that you can only use one if the source language was written in a text editor.


Yes, the automatic matching only works if your source text is in an editable format. What some translators do when faced with uneditable formats is to hire a typist to type in the text, and then the translator can use his TM tool on it.

Otherwise you could only verify the terms used with it, but it wouldn't lower the cost of translation, for an employer, right?


Yes, you can do searches in translation memories even if you're not using it for translation (how you do this depends on the TM tool that you use). Also, if you're not using the TM tool with an editable source text, your newly translated sentences don't get added to the TM.

Also, is their an open source translation memory online I can download?


When you say "translation memory" I assume you mean a TM tool (i.e. a program with which one can use a TM for translation). One such open source tool is OmegaT.

If by "translation memory" you mean a TM itself, well, I think there are some TMs available but how useful they are would depend on where you get them and what kind of translation you do.

Christine Andersen wrote:
I have never used OmegaT, but it is a free CAT tool with most of the functions you will need, including 'alignment', which means building up translation memories from earlier translated documents.


No, OmegaT can't do alignment. However, LF Aligner is opensource and works fairly well (and is not too complex to use).



[Edited at 2012-08-15 21:43 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:22
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some example Aug 16, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

If by "translation memory" you mean a TM itself, well, I think there are some TMs available but how useful they are would depend on where you get them and what kind of translation you do.


European Commission made available (downloadable) TMs used for translation of acquis. It was mentioned somewhere in the Proz forum, search.

You can also access Wordfast’s VLTM (very large translation memory, as I remember) if you hold a valid WF license. With Google Translate Toolkit, you can access Goggle’s common TM. Neither of the two are downloadable.


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