Translation memory (TM) and its benefits

Translation memory TM and its benefits

The translation industry has come a long way, and technology has played a major role over the last 2 decades. Today, translators and average users have high-tech tools like grammar software, inbuilt web translators, and special databases like translation memory (TM).

What is translation memory?

Translation memory can simply be defined as a database that stores paragraphs, sentences, titles, lists, and so on that have previously been translated from one language to another. The translation memory stores the text and its translation in pairs or translation units. Many databases work with language pairs (original and translated text) rather than individual words.

The applications that manage translation memory are called Translation Memory Managers (TMM) or Translation Management System (TMS). The software manages the process from start to finish.

The memory doesn’t work in isolation but in conjunction with a special dedicated tool called a Computer Assisted Translation tool (CAT). Other programs translation memory work with include

  • Word processor
  • Terminology management system
  • Raw machine translation output
  • Multilingual dictionary

The translation memory stores the text and its translation in pairs or translation units.

Companies adopt translation memory systems on a large scale

If research is anything to go by, translation service providers and language software developers are beginning to adopt translation memory software on a large scale because they are efficient.

 As businesses with a global reach require billions of texts to be translated from one language to the other, often at short notice, the need for applications that can handle such responsibilities as quickly as possible has become a necessity. Translation memory (TM) applications are now used en masse in computing, marketing, and financial services, just to mention a few.

Translation memory (TM) systems

There are two types of translation memory systems: desktop and server-based.

Desktop: A Desktop memory system is a tool used by freelance translators for translation work. This type has a limited range but is quite efficient. They come in smaller files that can be installed on a desktop computer.

Server Based: A Server Based system stores language pairs on a central server. This server quickly matches similar words, sentences, and expressions together and may either translate the text outright or provide the user with different options.


Benefits of translation memory systems

These are some of the benefits of translation memory systems.

Enjoy complete document translation

A good translation memory system ensures that every single text in your document will be properly translated into your preferred language. A good system will not accept empty segments but will source the right words from its database and use them properly.


Translation memory systems have been upgraded to produce better results and to achieve consistency. From start to finish, your definitions, phrases, terminologies, and expressions will be the same. This is an important feature for projects handled by different translators. A good TMS will ensure consistency, and the audience will not even know that more than one person worked on the document.

One of the key attributes of translation memory (TM) systems is content uniformity across the board.


Common words that are translated several times may be stored on the base and brought up for use in new documents rather than translating words afresh.

Format Variety

You enjoy format variety with translation memory systems. Today, translators have the luxury of translating documents into a wide range of formats even though they don’t own proprietary software. TMS has democratized AI translation which has helped translators increase their work speed.

Reduce Cost

Another benefit of TMS is its cost efficiency. Translating a large document may take more time and resources because of the effort required; however, with a database loaded with language pairs, translators can translate a large body of work in a short time. Common words that are translated several times may be stored on the base and brought up for use in new documents rather than translating words afresh. This reduces time and cost.

The need for speed and efficiency are the main reasons translation service providers use translation memory systems for projects. It helps them translate large-scale documents so they can meet project deadlines.

Circle Translations

At Circle Translations, we use efficient translation memory applications to help speed up our work, so clients don’t wait for too long to get their finished work. Besides TMS, we also use other language applications like grammar software, error checkers, and lots more. This is why all our clients get their projects on time with no errors or misrepresentations.

We have language experts who are professional linguists and vastly experienced in diverse fields. We also have professional technical translators for your technical documents and patent translators for your patent documents. Contact us today for your professional document translation using a combination of human skill and translation memory applications.