When should I merge several smaller TMs into a giant TM?
Thread poster: Fredrik Pettersson

Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
May 2, 2010

When should I merge several smaller TMs into a giant TM?

This is the folder structure I use for all my translation projects in Trados:


Source
Project 1 Target
Customer A
Documents Project 2 Source
Customer B Target
D:
Business
Language pair 1 Technical
Translation memories Customer A
Customer B

Language pair 2

I have one customer that I always translate user manuals for. It is always the same general category of electronics (computer mice, MP3-players, etc). Most of the time the same language pair 1.
I have just started for this client, and I'm a beginner using Trados. I want to structure my TMs the best way from the beginning.

My question is if I after a while, working for this client, doing translations in the same general category of electronics, can merge the TM for this client with TMs for other clients (also technical translations) into a giant TM called TM Technical? And this TM Technical I can use for any client that I do technical translations for?

What is the limit for the size of a TM, when does it slow down Trados too much?

I suppose I can't create a 'super-TM' from all TMs from all customers and all translation fields (technical, business, medicine, etc)?

Is this a wise method: to start creating a small TM for each individual customer, and after a while merge TMs from different customers into TMs for specific translation fields (technical, business, medicine, etc)?


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:16
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
The advantage of a "super-TM" May 2, 2010

Hi Fredrik,

I have a super-TM. It is very large and I made an Autosuggest dictionary out of it. The Autosuggest dictionary is very useful to attach to every project.

I also have a system, whereby I create a project TM for every project, and keep handy, in a useful place, a TM export of every project. These TM exports can then be mixed and matched at any time to make all kinds of useful TMs, e.g. client TMs, TMs relating to the same client AND end client, subject TMs (and some of them can go under more than one different subject)... the possibilities are endless.

In general, I think it more effective to use several smaller, targeted TMs for each project. Oh, and don't forget to make sure you have a project ID of some sort attached to every single TU, all the time.

Astrid

[Edited at 2010-05-02 11:28 GMT]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:16
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
No simple answer to your question May 2, 2010

While for Trados 2007 I would have recommended to build a bigger TM, when using Studio there is absolutely no need for one huge TM - you can keep your current structure and work with multiple TM setups. This will give you the necessary security to deliver the customer exactly what he wants with his TM and the possibility to leverage a maximum of all your TMs.
I would just merge the TMs for creating an AutoSuggest dictionary, but after that I would delete the big TM.Big TM is slow and does not have so many advantages in Studio (if any), as it used to have in single TM systems.


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Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
So both a "super-TM" and many small TMs for each client would give me flexibility then? May 2, 2010

As I will use Trados 2007 to begin with, both a "super-TM" and many small TMs for each end client would give me flexibility then? I could then tailor the TM to whatever the client requires.

But do you mean I should create a TM for each small project I get (even if it is on a few hundred words)?

Shouldn't I create a TM for the end client (not the translation agency)?

And should I use this same TM for each end client even if some translation projects are in different fields, like medicine, technology, business? That is, one TM for end client A that involves any type of translations (business, medical, technology)?

In reality, perhaps the translation projects from the end client almost always belong to the same general translation field (business, medical, technology)? In the few instances it would not, I could label the TM 'End client A Medicine' and 'End client A Technology'.

Or I could use this system to keep track from the beginning the translation field for each end client: 'End client A Technology' (even if end client A always involves technical translations and nothing more). When I need to merge all small TMs I have into a Super-TM for Technology, I can easily find each small TM.

Astrid Elke, do you think this is a good way of labelling each TU with a project ID?:

In folder D:\Translation projects\Documents\Customer A\1._Concrete_productname _Productno_Date

I put all documents for a specific translation project (small as big project) for Customer A in the above foler. Next translation project for this customer A, I make a new folder, labelled 2._Concrete_productname_Productno_Date (and so on).

So, when it comes to labelling each TU, I use exactly the same label as I used on the above folders (1._Concrete_productname_Productno_Date, etc). Each TU would then be directly related to each individual translation project.

What is the main function of labelling TUs? I haven't quite understood the reason to do that?


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Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Label TMs sometimes with end client name, sometimes with translation agency's name? May 2, 2010

Perhaps there are occassions I need to label the TM with end client name, and on other instances with translation agency's name.

But if I always end the TM-label with the general translation field (technology, medicine, business, etc), I would keep better track of what kind of texts are in each TM, no matter if it is end client or translation agency.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:16
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Labelling TUs May 2, 2010

Hi Fredrik,

The reason for labelling TUs is that it helps so much, when translating, to understand the context in which the TU that is thrown up as a match or fuzzy match occurred previously. Then you might know whether to translate in the same way on the present occasion, or not.

Bear in mind what Jerzy mentioned, that the great flexibility you have with TMs, i.e. attaching multiple TMs to a project, is only available with Studio, not with the 2007 software. I would really recommend you to use Studio right from the beginning.

As for the exact folder structure, as well as naming and encoding system that you create for yourself, that is something which you have to think out for yourself rather carefully, because exactly how you do it will depend on what sort of clients you have and what they send you to translate.

A further advantage of labelling TUs with a project ID might be for filtering and exporting purposes in future. What these purposes might be is something that only you can anticipate. I also wanted, originally, to think out from Day 1 how my business would develop, and therefore to set up all my organisational systems (whether it be related to TMs or to my accounting system) in the ideal way right from the start. Alas, however, it is not possible completely, and therefore you will almost certainly have to re-think and revise the way that you work, for example a few years from now. You can only anticipate, just now, to the best of your ability - and nobody can really help you entirely with that.

Astrid


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