When translation memory (TM) software programs were first introduced, they were acquired as a blue-chip aid to translators, since they hived away already interpreted sentences and salvaged translators the time they would otherwise have taken in typewriting those reiterated sentences out again

But now translators are enduring from the introduction of TM’s, since translation agencies and even end-users necessitate translators to use TM’s but then pay the translator in afloat only for sentences which are not reiterated. Under this system, the translator often has more work to do as a result of utilizing a TM, but gets paid much less for a careful translation than he or she would have been paid before the introduction of TM’s. Of course, when mentioning to TM’s, this applies to almost all the individual translation memory programs

When utilizing a TM, all the advantage seems now to rest with the translation agency or end-user and not with the translator himself or herself

The most glowering result of this problem is that all translators have been haled to increase their stock price per word over the last few years in order to last, so for documents which are almost totally non-repetitive (and where a TM is therefore futile), the translation agency or end-user ends up paying much more for its translations than it would have paid before the introduction of TM’s

However, that same customer still requires the translator to use a TM for its translation, even though it is apparent to all that the document pertained is not probable to show any repetition in any but a few ergodic single or two-word phrases. The use of TM’s has go an ingrained requirement for most translation agencies and even for some end-users – no account is taken of the rate of repetition before bringing down the use of a TM

Recently the TM manufacturers have even had the cheek to get down trading courses in their software to translators, who have to pay for those courses in order to go “certificated” in the TM pertained

Apart from the translation of manuals which use an enthusiastic deal of repetition (much as workshop manuals, job code manuals, etc.) and sure standardised contracts and court-ordered texts, statistical analysis of any ample company’s or ample translation agency’s translation work over a period of one year would very probably show that the obligatory use of TM’s, united with the ensuing altered prices per word from freelance translators (who execute by far the better portion of translations throughout the world), has finally ensued in the smooth operation being more to the end-user than it would have cost before the use of TM’s went universal

When these various translation memory programs (TM’s) were first introduced; claims were made by the manufacturers that their systems would result in translations being produced more quickly, due to repeated sentences being pre-translated. But now, when the TM system is so frequently brought down on translators, the TM systems are happened to sluggish up translation, particularly when translators are necessitated to use some of the more perplexed TM supportive systems. Freelancers are nowadays even being inquired occasionally to interpret texts that are already formatted in a TM–tied in system, where proof-reading and spell-checking go something of a nightmare when long texts are involved as likened to a Word format text

There is also altering evidence of an inquisitive attitude current amongst sure end customers and agencies in which the method of translation (i.e. the use of the TM system) seems to have go almost more crucial than the translation itself

Many experienced translators be given to bring down their translations, either to a voice recognition system which prints the dictation directly onto the computer screen, or by emailing the dictation to a typist, who types up the work and sends it back by email for proof-reading and correction. Most translators can talk much faster than they can type, so an enthusiastic deal of time is salvaged – and time in the translation business means money

An experienced translator, working with a text which falls within his or her set of specialities, can dictate over 10,000 words per day

Whilst it is not hopeless to use a voice recognition program with a TM, much of the time-saving advantage of fast dictation is misplaced if one does so because the TM system breaks dpersonal the text into little segments or “units” and in order to make sense of these abstracted “units” hollow on their personal , translations have to be typewritten by the translator him or herself, thus taking more time and making less money per hour for the translator – with the result that translators have had to increase their prices in order to get by with utilizing the TM

Translators are often instructed to make strict use of the translation TM that they are sent by the agency or client and thereby inferior or even incorrect translations may be produced. All translations count on context and it will be happened upon scrutinising almost any ample translation memory by utilizing the “concordance” icon that there are probably up to as many as 10 antithetic translations made over the years for the same translation “unit”

A further complicating factor lies in the use of TM system analyses for ascertaining word counts and identifying direct and fuzzy matches. These are always source word established whereas some translators choose for sure language combinations (Ge>En for example) to price their work in target words. These analyses are utilized as the basis for the translator to give discounts callable to what is in effect largely imitative time-saving

Thus the economies hoped for when TM’s were first introduced have had the opposite effect – costs are higher to the translation agency and to the end-user (since translators had to increase their prices in order to live)

So what can be done to avoid this sort of problem?

Our translation agency is now researching with its in-house translators, its entire team of freelance translators and also with its own customers, the possibility of fixing (and requiring from its freelancers) a reduced price per word for translations which do not require the use of a TM

Apart from the case of the highly standardised manuals adverted above, the language of which is particularly fit for the use of translation memories, the extension of this policy in future might involve giving up the use of a TM altogether. This would undoubtedly salvage time for everyone pertained in the translation process – it would make more money for the translator and also salvage money for translation agencies and end-users


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 currently owns Oxford Translation Ltd www.oxfordtranslation.co.uk where you can get an instant on-line quotation for your translation

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