How to Save Money When You Order a Translation – Tip # 4 Make Sure you Build a Translation Memory

You have at least three options to accomplish this. You can buy a Translation Management System (TMS) that includes Translation Memory (TM) software. You can purchase the Translation Memory software alone. Or you can contract and work with a translation provider that uses TMS or TM software and builds and manages the Translation Memory for you. But what is the best option, and how does it save you money when you order a translation?

The best option will depend on the long term strategy for your business and your immediate needs. For instance, if globalization of your product is in your plans, it is likely that you will need to consistently translate or localize part, if not all, of your materials and the website for different markets. If that is the case, you will greatly benefit from investing in a Translation Management System. These systems are designed for large and complex multilingual translations and localization processes. You will need, of course, to factor in the time and salary of the employee who will be managing those tools in-house for you.

Nonetheless, if your translation needs are not very frequent and you do not have to translate large amounts of content, you are better off working with a translation provider that works with TM software, builds and manages the memory for you, and offers discounts for existing translated content when you order a translation.

The larger the Translation Memory your organization builds, the more savings are possible. However, if your translation needs are not frequent or you only have small documents translated, it will take a longer time to build a good memory.

But keep in mind that you will have to work with the same trusted translation provider to manage your memory or request that it is sent to you on a TMX format (the industry standard for Translation Memory exchange) so that you can share it among different vendors. This second option is less optimal as you will have to be the manager of the translation memory with all the implications that involves.

The translation memory is basically a linguistic database of source sentences and their corresponding translation.

When a new text for translation comes along, the translation provider uses TM software to analyze whether or not particular segments or units have been previously translated. Depending on the context, some existing translated segments can be reused as they are. As a result, the translation provider could offer you a discount for the number of words in translations that already exist. Translation memories come in handy and can reduce your translation costs, especially when your organization produces content with a lot of repetitive text and figures.

The source documents that benefit the most from a Translation Memory are the following:

  • Files that require periodic updates but have a large amount of unchanged content.
  • Other documents that are issued periodically such as newsletters and reports.
  • Technical data sheets, help files and computer manuals.
  • Large batches of standard, repetitive content.

TMs are not very useful, however, for Marketing translations and translations of any material requiring creative and out-of-the-box translating!

Learn more about Translation Memories software here.

Language Concepts Consulting is a boutique provider of multilingual translation services. Languages we translate from and into include: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and many more. We partner with organizations looking to penetrate and/or serve the multicultural markets in the USA, and Latin America. We provide native-quality and culturally-sensitive translations that get our client’s message across and resonate with their target audience.

For more information, please give us a call at 480.626.2926 or visit us at

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