Translation Memory is important and valuable software in the language industry, which is central to the services the majority of Language Service Providers (LSPs) provide. It is an individually tailored database that analyzes new files for duplication to see if any existing content can be reused, working at a sentence level. The system accelerates project turnaround time, creates a smooth, cost- effective process for your business and greatly improves the quality of your translated documents or projects.

How does it work?

Translation Memory works by storing all the source sentences and equivalent translations. When new content is submitted for translation, the LSP runs it through Translation Memory to check if any of the new content is the same as previously translated content.

Important note: Translation Memory works at sentence level rather than word for word translation. This means that a whole sentence has to either precisely or closely match in order for the previous translation to be picked up on and reused.

Translation Memory comes with various benefits and can greatly help your business by reducing costs, saving a lot of valuable time, and improving the quality of your work.

  1. Quicker translations

Using Translation Memory for content means clients can receive their translation requests a lot faster. When content for a new request is the same or similar to previous translations, the linguist can use the existing translation from the Translation Memory and therefore does not have to research as many new words or phrases.


This accelerates the turnaround time of a project, meaning your business will receive results a lot quicker than if each translation was to be done from scratch.


  1. Cost-effective solution

Translation Memory as a cost-effective solution is as simple as it sounds – the greater the input and amount of recognized previous content, the bigger the reward and potential savings on cost. As mentioned, Translation Memory speeds up the process of a project and allows Linguists to complete more work in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, your database can build substantially, making your translation budget go much further.


  1. Ensures consistency

Another benefit of Translation Memory is the high quality of translations and projects. The more information the Translation Memory database stores, the more useful it becomes to inform new translations. The system ensures that new translations are consistent with previously published content, meaning mistakes are less likely to occur and you receive an overall higher-quality piece of work.


Important things to consider:

  • The type of content that needs translating determines the amount of money that your business can save. For example, marketing content tends to be more broad and varied, meaning it is unlikely that you will write the same thing more than once in the exact same way. However, other areas such as technical or legal content tends to have a lot of repetition where the same terms and phrases are used more than once.


  • When writing your content, it is important to keep translation costs in mind for your business. For example, if a document is updated annually and sent for translation, ensure that you only make essential changes. If aspects of your content are adjusted such as rewording of whole sentences, changing punctuation or swapping terminology with synonyms then your business is likely to see a higher translation cost.



At thebigword we understand the need for high quality and consistent translations. Our Translation Memory system is compatible with all major file types and formats to offer you convenience for every project. Visit our website and see how we can help you and your business with Translation Memory.

Carolyn Storey, Client Program Director – Implementation