Three good reasons for translation-memory maintenance

by Martin Gundlach

Thinking and acting globally: what does maintenance of a translation memory involve?

If you work with a professional translation partner, a translation memory will probably exist for your company. However, this needs to be maintained regularly if you are to continue benefiting from the existing translations in the memory.

Some changes we make to TMs do not apply to a specific area or an individual project, but to all content. Using on three examples of such global changes in a TM, we would like to explain why TM maintenance can still be sensible and necessary even following delivery of a good translation:


Handling desired corrections or tastes differ

Following a translation, we receive customer feedback including a corrected version and find that the feedback relates not to mistakes but to stylistic preferences. It is certainly important to remember such information for the next time, and at exact! these changes are always entered into the relevant customer TM. This helps our translators match the desired style even more closely in the future.


Changes to names and product designations

Following a corporate realignment, the company name is to be CAPITALISED in future instead of being written in lower-case letters as previously. The translations are available in the translation memory, and in terms of content nothing has changed, but these new spellings need to be maintained for all future translations. All “matches” in the TM that contain these names need to be changed. In a TM that is several years old, this could amount to thousands of matches in every language combination.


Standardised terms: if you are referring to the same thing...

TM maintenance may also be necessary if there are several equivalents (synonyms) in the target language and all of them would be correct. For the sake of consistency, it makes sense to choose one of the equivalents and use this consistently – thus increasing the hit rate for matches.


Central TM maintenance

A further benefit of TM maintenance:
Changes to a TM can be made centrally, across all content and languages. Failure to do this will result in a greater workload for changes, as the revisions will have to be corrected in the target documents again and again.


exact! – your partner for professional use and maintenance of translation memories

At exact!, we have many years of experience in using translation memories. Not only do you benefit from our expertise, but also from our high quality standards and well-established processes. Allow our capable employees to advise you on TM maintenance: Send service enquiry

exact! Newsletter

Receive useful information relating to translation and interesting project reports straight to your inbox.