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MT vs. TM

MT, short for “machine translation,” is computer-based translation. MT is a quick way to generate translation because the procedure of language conversion doesn’t rely on human labor. It’s very helpful to get the gist of a text at no cost, or strictly on the basis of a fixed investment. However, MT is not appropriate for commercial and professional purposes because the accuracy of translation is low and often the results can be completely wrong.

TM, which is short for “translation memory,” is a technology by which computer software creates and maintains a database of human translation and the saved translation is either entirely or partially recycled. TM helps the human translator limit the tedious, repetitive aspects of the work process. TM is extremely useful and valid, since it saves time and cost. This is particularly true in the case of manual translation, for many reasons. Here are some examples:

Manuals and similar documents tend to be very long.
Manuals and similar documents tend to use repeated text.

A manual is also revised, either partially or completely, when the product is updated. So, a large portion of the translation should be the same in both the old and new versions. Here, a reliable way of recycling the translation is essential. TM helps the translator ensure a consistent style and terminology. Our linguists employ TM as needed or when requested by the client.

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