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Translation memory


One Hour Translation, the web’s leading Professional Translation Service, announced that it will be providing it’s professional translation services to application developers directly from the Google Play developer console.  In order to better support the application developers, One Hour Translation released API support for its Translation Memory Cloud (TMC). The TM API allows developers to translate string by string through the system.

So, you have a translation project and you’ve never worked with a translator before. This is exciting stuff, for you as well as your eventual hire because you’re in a whole new world and they’re getting a whole new client!

Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools are no longer strange or undesirable. In fact, almost any translation professional you talk to uses them just about 100% of the time, and they’re no longer really controversial.

When discussing translation issues here and there (and yes, this subject comes up surprisingly often in a variety of circumstances) I’ve found that one of the concepts of modern translation people have the most trouble with is translation memory.

Translation is a tricky business. It seems so straightforward, but once you get into the weeds of it you realise how challenging it is.


Translation Memory has been a hot topic in the translation world for years now, first because it was the hot new concept and everyone debated its usefulness and efficacy, later because of all the TM tools that exploded onto the market, and today because TM data has become the true value of TM.

I recently read an article about schoolchildren in The United States who were issued Apple iPads as part of their school curriculum. The iPads had been ‘locked down’ by school administrators to prevent the children from using them to surf certain Internet sites or play games and the like, the intention being that the iPads should not be entertainment devices but rather used solely for school work. The children cracked the security within days and soon the entire school was using their iPads to watch movies, play games, and other things.

As a single freelancer, my customer service interactions are pretty tame. After all, it’s just me, my mobile, and my email account – when clients want to get in touch with me, it’s pretty simple, and generally I’m not managing the big-deal translation stuff like Translation Memory data – that’s being managed for me by the firm that hires me.

Of the many tools used by translation professionals, one of the most difficult to grasp for non-translators is Translation Memory (TM). It’s one of the most useful and most valuable assets created in the course of translation work, surpassed in value only by the finished translation itself.

Technology never stays static. New ideas and tools come out and they seem revolutionary, amazing. Your work is cut in half, you make more money, and enjoy your work more! Slowly, the dazzle fades, and the new technology or tool becomes the usual.