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Im massimo from sdl and today. Im here to talk about a translation translation memory. So what is a translation memory.
Its a language pair database that segments of text which have been previously translated so they can be recalled for later use i dont know how much sense this made to you so were going to try to explain all of this a few key words here database. Hopefully you know what that is but its a place where things get stored. We are going to talk about segments.
Obviously text and recalling so bringing that back and im explaining this because a lot of the people in this industry are not english speakers. Native english speakers and so we kind of just make sure that our terminology is as clear as possible. What is a segment.
So this is the question that comes up and especially. If you are new to the industry new to translation. You might actually not know what a segment is you know you might figure it out so in a way.
A segment can be different things. And this is what gets stored inside the translation memory. It could be a sentence and this is what you probably relate the most with it could be a phrase and actually theres not much difference from a sentence and a phrase.
I think its a bit of semantics. Its kind of terminology. What word works best for you it could be a paragraph and actually a paragraph is a little bit different than a sentence typically a paragraph could be a combination of sentences and traditionally in the translation memory you store.
These two sentences and phrases you can also choose to store entire paragraphs but obviously the more you store the harder. It is to match in the future and were going to look a little bit more about what that means. But remember that kind of thought of storing kind of sentences.
So after a full stop after a semi colon for example. But perhaps if i have a very long paragraph with three phrases or sentences inside you can store those. But you might decide not to do that and headings of course a title the beginning of a document that is also what gets stored so in essence.
A segment is a finite pieces of words a set of words that get stored into a translation memory the second piece is what is a translation unit. A translation memory is made up of translation units and sometimes people call this a tu translation unit. So whats a translation unit.
Its in essence. The building block of a translation memory. So the translation memory stores.
The source text so what you got to translate and the translation of that sentence. So typically if you look at a translation memory youll find. Many translation units and each translation unit is going to be hello i.
m massimo ciao sono massimo. So you have the english and its translation.
Thats what a translation unit is and what then is going to happen is that the translation memory can search all these translation units. And as you translate it will find similar translations that youve made before for a specific sentence and suggest them to you as translations. So you might wonder how does this help so it kind of helps in many different ways.
So the classic is that you never have to translate the same sentence again so theres different benefits to it you might kind of see immediately. Whats the benefit of not having to translate the same sentence again first of all to retranslate the same things. Its boring.
So you dont have to do it again. Sometimes you have to watch. It sometimes you have translated something and you do need to actually have a different translation.
Because of different context. So you always need to check those translation. But in essence when you translated something you dont want to translate it again it does save you time.
But also its about quality. You might have spent a lot of time translating a sentence and getting it just right not just right for you. But also you might have a client.
There might be somebody else who reviewed that translation and at the end of the process. Everybody was 100 happy with that translation you want to make sure that that translation is the one that gets used again so its about quality and consistency and making sure that the best translation is reused again and again obviously all of these translations get stored for future use. So youre building an asset in essence.
Youre building this database made out of translation units. Which contains all your previous sentences that you translated and its something you build for future use there are people whove been building millions of words. Its not a joke.
Theres translators. Who have a million translation units can you imagine and they can reuse them. So you can save them a lot of time and also ensuring consistency and quality.
One of the nice things about a translation memory is the more you add the more you can recall and at the end of the day. The interesting piece is that youre actually not doing more work youre translating as you were translating before the difference is that youre storing that translation for the future and it just kind of happens automatically. Its really quite easy to add and build a translation memory it can get get big pretty quickly.
If you think that a typical translator translates two thousand words a day thats what the industry sort of agrees on translating new words of course. It can be a lot less than that if you have this slogan a marketing slogan to translate of 10 words. It might actually take you half a day to translate that slogan but you know typical content commercial content instruction manuals technical documentation.
The average is two thousand words a day those are two thousand words a day that you can store in the database for future use so it does help you translate faster because you have stored all of this. But i really want to stress is that the speed it offers. You is also very much about giving you more time for when you are translating that new content.
So that you can create the best possible translation for it and of course. It takes away the monotony of translating.
The same sentence again and again for one marketing slogan that could be one document where the same sentence is repeated hundreds of times and so thats where a translation memory can really make a difference so lots of information so far translation segment units and so on. But i think hopefully got the concept of having your translation stored in translation units. But how does it all work.
So once you get your new text to translate a cat tool and we have a video on a cat tool. Its going to look at your entire database look at all those translation units and try to find something that matches. And it happens instantly its very very quick so youre not sitting there waiting for the translation memory to find the translation.
Its pretty much instant. So i just used a wordmatch and this is kind of a bit of the essence of a translation memory what its trying to do is trying to match. The new sentence you have to translate with the sentences.
You translated before and different things can happen. So there are four types of matches. So lets look at them.
So the first one is context match so this is the highest quality match this is where something that you have translated before but not only you translated that sentence. But the translation memory can recognize that translated that sentence and the sentences around it so in that case the system can say not only i translated this before. But whats around it is also the same so thats a context match because the chances are that that is going to be a really good match the second match is the 100 match this is something you might hear quite a lot on this industry.
So this is a more traditional match. Its something you translated before in the same format as well you know something was bold needs to also be bold or you might have to fix the formatting for example. And so thats the 100 match in this case.
The context is not taken into consideration so its just looking at that sentence. And if whats around it is not the same the system will just say. This is a 100 match.
Typically you need to check a 100 match. Because there might be surprises and if any of you speak different languages masculine feminine maybe something was a heading something was in the middle of a sentence you might have actually needed to use different translations and thats why the 100 match is going to be pretty accurate. But you do need to cast an eye on a 100 match.
Then we go down a level to what we call a fuzzy match. In fact. The industry.
Call. It a fuzzy match. So.
Thats. Something below a 100 match typically. You might hear.
About 70 80 . 90.
. 99. .
95. Match. So.
Thats clearly a sentence. Which is similar. But not identical and the differences could be different.
It could be a word thats different it could be a formatting difference. So various little things. Which means that the translation memory will suggest that translation and then you can fix that translation other missing words.
Replace the word restructure a little bit that sentence to make it work one of the newest matches is the fragment match so you know weve talked about paragraphs and sentences and so on so within a sentence. There might be fragments. So you might have a sentence with ten words.
But then my three or four words and those are the ones that repeat themselves. So you might be translating an entire sentence and you might have that feeling that youve translated those three or four words a fragment much will look for those pieces. And say you know you actually did translate those four words and heres how you did translate those four words and then you can decide whether to use them or not you know what i said earlier.
The kind of length of the sentence and the paragraphs when you look at this obviously the bigger the sentence. If you have a sentence that long with long long basically long wordings getting a match it might be a little bit harder. If you are in a situation.
Where you have short sentences. Its easier to get and match. The statistics are kind of in your favor.
So thats why typically what you store is sentences. Even if theres an entire paragraph with three sentences. You kind of store at the individual phrase sentence level rather than an entire paragraph.
So you kind of give yourself a better chance to get a match so one question that gets asked often is can i work with more than one translation memory at the same time. So why do people ask that over the years. Ive seen all sorts of different approaches.
People might store everything they translate no matter. What client whether its marketing legal and everything goes into the translation memory. And you kind of work from that but other people create different translation memories for different clients different type of content.
But you might still want to be able to use them all because you never know where a match might come from so of course. You can create as many translation memories as you like and use them.
All at the same time. And in fact a cat tool can be quite smart and prioritize one translation memory versus another so if youve got a marketing translation memory and youre translating. A marketing document.
But you might also have the instruction manual from the same client. You might actually turn them both on because you might actually find some matches from both. But the marketing translation memory is the one that has got top priority over perhaps the technical documentation.
When youre starting with translation memory. I told you that you can build it pretty fast you know you start translating your 2000. New words a day and the translation memory will build up.
But you might have been a translator for quite some time and you might have a bunch of documents that you want to import in the translation memory. So can you actually make a translation memory from your previous work. And the answer is that you can so there is a tool calledalignment.
Its a tool. Its a feature a functionality that actually allows you to create a translation memory from your existing translation. So you might have a document in english.
A document in italian and you translated them manually you can take those documents and import them into a translation memory and what youre doing you are aligning them youre trying to align. The english sentences with the italian sentences. So youre going to get a side by side view.
Where you see all the sentences. And you know languages are tricky. So maybe.
Three english sentences turn into one long italian sentence coming from italy. I know i know i used to have to chop my sentences. More when i moved to the uk my sentences were that long i had to really kind of force myself to be a bit shorter.
So with alignment you actually can sort of manipulate and try try to align. All the english with the italian in my case. Or whatever language pair one good point of translation memory that it can store any language.
There is no constraint. Any language can be imported and worked with the translation memory so no matter. What language combination you translate in everything can be imported in a translation memory.
So hopefully youve got a bit of a sense of what a translation memory is whats inside you hopefully. Know what is a segment. How all of that works together to give you suggestions as you translate and one of the nice things of translation memory is that even if youre starting from scratch either you build it pretty quickly as soon as you start doing your first translation or you could even import the work you have done before so you create this asset.
That is going to last you for the future. .
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