METM15 presentation

Managing and cleaning translation memories

Alan Lounds, Barcelona, Spain

Translation memories (TMs) can easily become dirty over time, especially if they are shared by several translators. This means that they may offer some translation solutions that were rejected in the final stages of the translation process. They can also become clogged with codes and untranslatable items.

In this presentation I will describe one system for keeping a TM clean and up to date by uploading computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool projects rather than sending ongoing segments from the CAT tool directly to the TM. I will also describe how the TM can be cleaned of codes, repetitions, untranslatable items and other noise. The end result will be clean and compact TMs.

This procedure allows individual translators to periodically replace their rough and dirty TMs with clean, updated ones and to share their TMs with other translators in the form of native CAT-tool projects or exchange formats. It allows in-house project managers to control what is being fed into the organization’s TMs and to keep them clean and updated with translations produced by in-house staff and freelancers in a variety of CAT formats.

The tools used for these processes are Apsic X-Bench (the free version) and Olifant (freeware). This presentation will be of interest to intermediate-level CAT tool users and translation project managers who wish to further their knowledge of TM management and exchange.
Alan Lounds is head of the Language Advisory Unit at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, where he manages the translation of institutional and academic documents and the creation of language support resources. He has 25 years’ experience as a freelance editor and translator and also teaches academic writing. He is a founder member and former chair of Mediterranean Editors and Translators.