Transifex

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  • Introduction to Translation Memory

Introduction to Translation Memory

Transifex has a built-in Translation Memory (TM). TM is a powerful tool that helps with translation quality and consistency. It can even save you money by reducing the amount of repeat and new work a translator has to do.

How Translation Memory works

Without going into too much technical detail, Translation Memory is a database of previously completed translations. Each time a translation is submitted, it's saved to this database. In the future, if a phrase similar to the original source string appears, the translation is presented to the translator as a suggestion. Let's look at an example.

Say we have one string in our file: It is sunny and warm in California. When we translate it, the translation is automatically saved to the TM. Then we add another string to the file: It is sunny and warm in Greece. When the translator goes to work on the new string, they'll see the translation for the first string as a suggestion. While the two strings are not exactly the same, they share a lot of words – both contain the phrase "It is sunny and warm in." By seeing the suggestion, the translator can translate the new string quickly while keeping it consistent with the other translation.

This concept of looking at two phrases which are similar but not exactly the same is known as a fuzzy matching.

In some cases, you may have two phrases which are exactly the same. This is known as a 100% match. Most of the time, if one of the phrases was already translated, you can reuse the translation for the other phrase.