Computer assisted translation (CAT) systems come in a variety of formats and capabilities. Some combine translation memory technology (TM) with example based machine translation techniques (EBMT).
Freelance translators can select from a variety of translation memory tools to assist them in their work. Although these tools are valuable, they must be used with discretion and are most useful in providing an extension to the translator’s memory.
Some of the most advanced translator tools provide you with not only translation memory feature but also a terminology data base and a project lexicon to increase the quality of your word matching ability. In addition, many of these tools provide you with project management features to help you increase your productivity and consistency, working with a variety of file formats through a uniform interface.
The main value of using translation memory tools for a freelance translator is simple: it saves you time and brain power. For each time that you use the word translation memory tool it records how you translated the word and stores it for future use.
The more translations you perform, the larger your data base will grow and the faster you will be able to complete your translation work. While this feature may not be used often in translating advertising copy or poetry, for freelance translators who work with technical material where there is a highly frequency of repetitive phrases, this can save an incredible amount of time.
However there are several questions you need to answer to before you invest in a translation memory tools to determine how quickly you’ll be able to experience a return on your investment. These programs work best with electronic media; files received via the Internet or on disk. If your work is primarily repetitious where you are concerned with the sentence structure as opposed to terminology a translation memory tool can be a valuable assistant
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