Anyone who is accountable for a company’s commercial documents operator’s manuals, service manuals, etc. will be alive that what the end user wants is perfectly accordant vocabulary, to debar any ambiguity. If it stated “keeping on bolt” in the early page, why does it state “keeping on screw” on this page? It is the same thing?


Recent years have seen great progress in the standardisation of vocabulary and phrasing in technical documents, and a great deal of that progress is due to the increasing use of translation memories


You may have tried out some of the “on-line translation” systems available on the Internet. You will have seen that while it is often accomplishable to understand more or less what the avant-garde text desired to state, the language utilised is usually not bankable. You only have to interpret a little text into an alien language and then interpret the result back into English to see what sort of a mess the translation is to the alien reader


Translation memory has nothing to do with that sort of “on-line translation”. Translation memories are utilized to record dead on target translations made by measured up translators, so that the next time the same words are utilized in the avant-garde text, the translation memory will automatically bring forth the same translation. This provides consistency of vocabulary and phrasing


Translation memories are utilized by translation agencies and freelancers for two purposes:


1. To salvage time in translation, since the translator does not have to type the sentence again. This saves money


Like most service companies, translation agencies are trading time – the time that their translators take in typewriting out and checking up on a translation


2. To insure consistency, particularly in reiterated sentences. This gives the reader confidence in the document pertained, since he or she sees congruent phrases and vocabulary in individual parts of the document. It also ensures consistency of vocabulary, so that no confusion can be as to “Is this the same thing they were mouthing about on page 33 ?”


When individual companies got down to bring forth translation memories in the 1990’s, they were mainly utilized by freelance translators to salvage time and to bring forth standardised translations


Translation agencies, almost all of which use freelance translators when their in-house staff have too much work, then started to use translation memory systems for the same purposes. The cost of translation was sometimes reduced, since three categories of translation were utilized:


· Perfect correspond (when the sentence to be interpreted already were in the translation memory – no action on the part of the translator – the computer translates the sentence automatically) This category is often paid at 20% or 30% of “per word” price


· Fuzzy correspond (when the sentence to be interpreted is almost the same as a sentence in the translation memory; in this case the translator has to check up on it for differences). This is often paid at 50% or 60% of “per-word” price


· No correspond (when there is no much sentence in the translation memory). This is paid at 100% of “per-word” price


Among some of the bigger companies in the world it then went accustomed to work with translation companies or agencies who kept much memories on their behalf


Translation memories are now often utilized by the translation agencies for their medium and little customers and the advantages as regards consistency are immediately superficial to anybody scanning the commercial documentation


Companies working with translation agencies who use these systems also often bask lower prices for their translations


After working abroad in the moving, rural machinery and construction equipment industries, John has been rendering nonrecreational commercial and court-ordered translation for the last 20 years. He now owns Oxford Translation Ltd and Technical Translation Ltd Call 01869 240 560 in the UK for a fast quotation or email [email protected]

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