You can cut your translation costs significantly. Are you sending out all your translations to translators or translation companies, paying full price for every document, no matter that’s an update or not? You can save a significant amount of money by not having the same sentences translated twice.
Translation memories store your translated sentences and their target language counterparts. If you maintain translation memories, you can automatically apply the already translated content to your new documents. In an organization, content reuse is a very common phenomenon. You don’t write all your materials from scratch, you take a document and amend it. And this is why translation memory saves you translation costs. You simply don’t need to pay for what you don’t need to translate.
memoQ, just like any other translation tool, offers you to quantify the savings. If you have a translation memory and a set of documents, memoQ can tell you how much you save. The amount of similarity between an already translated sentence and a sentence to be translated is expressed in a percentage, also known as the match rate.
memoQ’s ContexTM (101%) matches should never need to be checked. It is sure that a ContexTM match is the correct translation in the given context because you only get a ContexTM match if not only the sentences in the source document and the translation memory are the same but also the contexts of these sentences.
100% matches are matches where the sentence is the same as what has been translated before but the context isn’t identical. 95-99% matches are sentences with minor differences: formatting, numbers, spaces or punctuation marks. These are also easy to change, so you can expect a reduced cost.
Anything below 95% is a so-called fuzzy match, where the words may differ: there may be insertions, deletions, or changes to the text.
memoQ also exhibits a special feature called homogeneity. With homogeneity you can understand how repetitive a document is. It gives you an indication of what matches translators will get only translating the document in memoQ, without a translation memory. If you need to translate three similar manuals, for example, you may not want to pay full price for each and every word. In this case, homogeneity can be a good basis to argue. Please do not abuse homogeneity – it’s still the translator producing the translations you don’t want them to charge for.
Another area that can give you better rates is a well-defined term base that you develop and provide your translation vendors with. If you specify the terms to use, terminology research time shrinks and productivity grows.
In reality, your translation budget depends more on how you optimize your processes than how much you pay for a word. If you have regularly updated contents, optimizing your translation workflow and translation memory maintenance may also be a good idea.
Whenever you think about translation budgets, think about the big picture and the following items:
- Could the source text authoring be improved to maximize translation re-use? You can save a lot with consistent source texts, especially if you require translations in many languages.
- What materials do you translate and how do these materials affect your business processes?
- What’s more important: turnaround time or costs? How does it affect your business if you deliver a day or two later than expected? Looser deadlines decrease costs. Can you get the source content to your vendors earlier?
- What is the process of translation? How do you sign it off, how do you archive the results? Have you always got access to all your translations? Centralizing translated content is a good idea, ensuring that every content has a translation memory or a bilingual document stored with is an even better idea.
There are certain basic elements like content reuse that everyone managing a translation budget should be aware of, but with careful planning you can cut your translation costs very significantly.
If you are working for a big company where the responsibility for translations lies with several departments and people, think about cross-leveraging. Centralizing your translation memories is a good idea, and this can be reached using a memoQ server. But if you want to have even more control over your translation memories and you cannot force other departments to follow your advice and convert to memoQ, consider implementing the TM Repository. Kilgray’s TM Repository is a unique tool for facilitating translation management, increasing leverage and providing tools-agnostic workflows. It’s one level above the server technologies of different vendors, feeding the individual translation memory servers or clients with the most relevant data.