Setting Up Translation Memories

Translation memories are the most important linguistic assets for LSPs and end-customers which is the reason why it is crucial that they are setup properly when an account is created or when a customer is added. Not only will it facilitate project creation, it will ensure that these assets are used efficiently as any match missed means higher translation costs.

There are no limits in the number of translation memories that can be created and no limits in the amount of data that can be stored in the translation memory databases. Just like other assets, translation memories can be organized using client and project group labels. Smartcat allows the user to create multilingual translation memories — one source language, multiple target languages — which helps limits the number of databases needed. In practice, only one translation memory database per source language is needed for each client and this is often the ideal model for most customers to optimize the leverage of data.

Creating a new translation memory in Smartcat is quite simple. Choose Translation memories from the Resources option the main menu:

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Then click in the Create TM button:

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The following dialogUE box will appear:

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Assign a unique name (1). In many cases, it is recommended to choose a name based on the customer name to simplify data management. Then choose the source language (2) and all the target languages (3). There can be only one source language but you can choose as many target languages as needed for a specific client. In most scenarios, matches are found based on comparing new sentences with sentences stored as the source language but Smartcat now allows translation memories to be reversed automatically when used as reference (in read-only mode) and matches can be found in the target language in this case.

Labels can be assigned for client (4) and project group (5). There is an option to define a subject (topic) for the translation memory but this option is generally redundant if the translation memory is assigned to a specific client. It could be useful when dealing with clients who work across multiple fields and separate translation memories need to be maintained.

Smartcat can also store context information (6) in the form of the segment before the segment being translated and the segment after. This information is used to confirm that not only the text of the segment is a match between the new segment and the content of the translation memory, but the context is the same, ensuring a perfect match. This is useful when translating documents that are updated since Smartcat can use that information to lock segments to speed up the translation process and reduce costs. These matches are called Context Matches or Perfect Matches in the industry. In Smartcat, they are indicated as 101% or 102% depending if one or two context segments are present.

You can also add comments or a description (7) for each translation memory. Click Save (8) when you are done.