Making use of previously translated texts
The reusability of previously translated materials depends mainly on the type of texts you need translated. Technical texts, especially user guides that are updated with the products they accompany are more likely to have repetitions in them.
How does it work? We use translation memory software tools (CAT tools) that will remember every sentence we translate for you and whenever we encounter the same or a similar sentence, the tool pops up the previously translated version and we just need to update the text with whatever was changed in the source, and we are ready to move on to the next sentence.
What is important for you here is that the price we charge for words coming from the translation memory is significantly less than the price for new words. How much less? It depends on the level of the match between the sentence in the new text and its matching pair in the memory. Normally, if it is a fuzzy match, in other words, the two sentences or segments are not completely identical but similar, the price is 65 p.c. of the normal charge, and, if it is a 100% match, the price is 30% because we still need to check the translation for correctness.
Equally important is that it is not simply cheaper but by using these CAT tools we can also ensure the consistency of translated materials. That will bring us to terminology management but before we discuss that it should be emphasized that CAT tools only help a human translator but do not replace him/her. All texts are translated by professional translators and CAT tools are used by them to deliver more consistent translations to you with a quicker turnaround time and at a lower cost.
See this blog entry about computer-aided translation vs. machine translation.
This is an exercise that also needs the client’s involvement, at least at the beginning. A good terminology list is key to a consistent translated text. If you have a list of terms that you want to have translated the same way in all your documents, we will use this list in our CAT tool and also in our QA checks. You may also have a list of terms that you do not want to have translated, e.g. brand names, trademarks etc. These can also be added to the CAT tool.
If you do not have these lists yet but want to make sure terminological consistency of your translated texts, we can extract the keywords from the source texts and discuss with you what should be added to the terminology list.