How to manage and reuse several TMs
Thread poster: clairemf

Local time: 05:04
English to French
Jan 4, 2010

Working for various customers, I often have to use their own Translation Memories (TM) or a project-specific TM to translate. I use Trados. So I find myself with several TMs and I cannot use my own big TM when the customer requires their own. The question is, after I'm done, how could I reuse my own translation work (i.e. segments in TMs)?

I use the "reference TM" or concordance memory option when I use a project TM, so that I can see segments from my own TM while I'm translating a new material. Project TMs are often small and there are very few concordances. But this tool can only search in ONE database.

How do you manage your TMs? Do you have a big one in which you import txt. files when the project is over? In this case, how big can it be? Do you clean the TM before exporting to avoid meaningless segments such as parts of computer messages or figure captions?
Do you have one TM per customer or per project?

I really would like to capitalize my own work and I haven't found how to do it in a systematic manner after each project. Thanks for sharing your ideas or experience on this subject...


Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:04
English to Czech
+ ...
A few ideas Jan 4, 2010

Hi Claire,
you can create one super-TM where you can clean all files up before sending them to your client. You can then use this super-TM for reference purposes, such as concordancing.
You might also want to think about upgrading to Studio where you can use any TM number in each project.


Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Possible way of using many TMs with the Freelance version Jan 4, 2010

Until you buy Studio, which makes it possible to benefit from many translation memories, you can try the following procedure:

Let's assume you have 3 clients, A, B and C. Each of them has a dedicated translaiton memory - TMA, TMB and TMC. Beside those you also have your own translation memory, let's call it TM_Master.
You get a job from customer A, but you know, TMB and TM_Master could also contain material to translate the text. In order to use them, create a new translation memory. Let's call it TM_Work.
Now do the following steps:

  • Export the content of TMA, TMB and TM_Master
  • Import the content of TMA into TM_Work
  • Now with the setting "Existing translation units - Leave unchanged" (important) import the content of TMB into TM_Work
  • Finally, with settings as above import the content of TM_Master into TM_Work

Translate you file using TM_Work.
Process the file as usual, do proofreading and so on.
When you file is ready, throw TM_Work away.
With the file upgrade TMA and TM_Master.
This way you will have a translated file an upgraded customer translation memory (TMA) and upgraded own transation memory TM_Master.
It is important to keep the order of the steps above, ie first import TMA and then all other TMs into your work TM. This way you keep translations coming from customer unchanged.

[Edited at 2010-01-04 15:36 GMT]


Egidijus Slepetys  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:04
German to Lithuanian
One big reference-TM Jan 4, 2010

I am storing all my translations in my own big TM for reference purposes (concordance search for terms or phrases).
Even if the client doesn't provide his TM, I am creating an empty TM for EACH project and attaching my own TM for reference only.


Local time: 05:04
English to French
Thanks Jan 29, 2010

Thank you all for your ideas.
Creating a new file for all projects seems a lot of work... maybe for each client only?
You say I should buy the latest Studio (about 300 eur). So you mean use Studio in addition to Trados? or just forget about Trados?
If then you can refer to several TMs, I think that then I should make sure that all my segments are referenced w/ client or project. Indeed, looking for concordance, you would have several segments to choose between (does Studio mention the TM name?), and you would need to know which is the most relevant? For the moment, I don't reference my segments inside the TMs...
Still more to think about :-S


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