Translation memory (TM)

A translation memory (TM) is a database that stores segments, paragraphs, or sentences of content you have translated before, and it is usually implemented in a translation management system (TMS). As the name implies, its purpose is to enable the usage of previously translated content pieces into the current translation project or document. Using a translation memory enables translators to focus only on pieces of content they have not translated before while automating the translation of everything else. Each entry or segment stored in the TM includes the version in the original language (the source) and its translation (the target). A source and a target pair is called a translation unit or a ‘TU’.

A TM works by parsing the source content pushed for translation and checking whether any content there has been translated before. When coupled with structured content, a translation memory and a TMS can significantly decrease the time needed to translate content.

Example use cases

• Field service documentation

• Medical device regulatory submission assets

• Medical writing

• Consistent customer support across all language versions