Translation memories and termbases
Thread poster: BTGeorge

United States
Local time: 15:41
Japanese to English
+ ...
Mar 13, 2013

Hi, I just started freelancing and I tried using memoq, and while I did like the way it breaks everything into segments for me, I didn't feel like it really made me any faster. Without any built-in dictionaries or spell-checkers, I still had to more or less do the same amount of work as with manual translation. When it comes to building your own translation memory, I suppose you have to spend at least a couple months or years using the same TM n order it for it to build up enough information for it to actually be useful, right?

Also, having to manually add terms to the term base for the limited amount of assistance it gave me (I was translating a book with relatively little repeated content, although there were a few repeated words) seemed like kind of a pain.

Do you simply have to either use a preexisting termbase or do you have to simply spend build them up over a long period of time?

I take it most people use two TMs and two term bases on each project? Personal and shared (if provided)? Is it possible to incorporate a provided TM and term base into your personal one?

I am considering getting TRADOS just because of the jobs that it can get you, but I have to wonder if it's worth the effort if all of the automated features are based on manual inputs.

Also, are there any dictionary files (Japanese-English) that can be integrated into CAT tools? Most of the time I spend translating is looking up words and it would save a lot of time.

Are there no termbases and translation memories available to serve as a starting point?


Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:41
German to English
It takes time to build up databases Mar 13, 2013

It doesn't matter which of the common tools you use, it will take some time to develop a really useful translation memory, depending on the number of different fields you work in. I started using Deja Vu in late 1997 because I had a document that was full of repetitions. I also learned the meaning of "garbage in, garbage out" the hard way.

There may also be translation memories for sale on the Internet. I would be careful about these. No doubt some may be useful, but others may be full of junk, or just useless because they contain material irrelevant to your work.

Terminology databases are a little different. There are a number of glossaries available on the Internet that can be converted into a format importable by the CAT tool. Some have been produced by corporations containing terminology pairs that are specific to a particular company/industry; others are general glossaries produced by well-intentioned amateurs, some of which may have dubious translations. You have to be discriminating, and I would suggest editing any canned terminology lists, as they can populate your database with useless material. Again, this is something I learned the hard way.


trhanslator (X)
My advice Mar 14, 2013

My advice would be to invest in storing speech fragments in glossaries. You get sooner results from such a list than from TMs. All depending on your subject field and text type, of course.

Once you've made that decision, the choice of a CAT tool that is optimised for quickly and handy saving of speech fragments is crucial.

IMO nothing can beat CafeTran for that purpose.

[Edited at 2013-03-14 09:32 GMT]


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