Do you need to understand how translation memory software works?


2019-10-21 23:20 Star Transit NXT


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Translation memory software was first discussed in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the first translation memory tools were made available to translators and customers. The main aim of any translation memory tool is to reduce the translation work needed by reusing as much of an existing text as possible. If you are not in the localisation industry, or familiar with certain concepts of information processing, then the inner workings of TM software might be alien to you. This article builds on the info given in our Ultimate Guide to Translation, and aims to give you a basic knowledge of how TM tools work and the benefits they can offer. Do you need to understand how translation memory software works? Perhaps you don’t understand how TM software works, but is this really a problem? As a general rule, not really. Your language service provider and their translators will be the main users of the translation memory tool, and you can safely expect them to be familiar with all of the advanced features that support their work. However, understanding the basic principles of translation memory software and how it considers units of language might affect the way you write your content. Writing with an awareness of potential pretranslation possibilities can lead to significant cost savings in the long term. What is translation memory software? Put simply, translation memory software stores “segments” of text that have been previously translated. It aids human translators by providing these existing translations as suggestions during the translation process. In so doing, it improves consistency of translation and speeds up the translation process, delivering cost savings. Basic principles of a translation memory software tool A TM tool considers a text as a series of language units, called segments. A segment can be a clause, sentence, paragraph or a sentence-like unit (headings, titles or elements in a list). Each segment within a source document is linked to a corresponding segment in the target text. Once translated, the translation memory software will store the translation for future use, either subsequently in the document or at a future date. At the start of any translation project, the translation memory software analyses the content and uses a fuzzy logic algorithm to consider exact matches and partial matches within the existing translation memory. What is a fuzzy logic algorithm? Generally, within computing, fuzzy logic considers “degrees of truth”, rather the “true or false” Boolean logic on which modern computers are based. When it comes to translation memory software, each segment is compared against existing translations to give a fuzzy match percentage. This percentage rating gives an indication of the similarity between the new text and an existing translation. The translation memory engine considers the words within the segment, looking at how many are the same, how many have changed, whether words have been added or removed, whether words have been moved within the sentence. It also looks at the capitalisation and punctuation of the sentence and takes this into account for the fuzzy match percentage. Again speaking in generalisations, the translation industry classifies a fuzzy rating of 70% or higher as a fuzzy match. Fuzzy ratings of less than 70% can have so many differences that it might take longer to amend the sentence than it would to start again fresh. What is the difference between translation memory software and a machine translation engine? The choice between a TM tool and a machine translation engine is something that we look at in other blog posts, but we can give you the basic overview here. Translation memory software uses reference material from existing materials to provide exact matches and suggestions of similar translations. The main work of translation is carried out by a human translator. A machine translation tool, also known as a machine translation engine, uses existing translations and artificial intelligence algorithms to translate the entire text. These translations can then be “post-edited” by a human to fix any errors made by the machine translation. What is an internal repetition? When looking at translation matches for a new document compared with an old document, translation memory software also looks at internal repetitions within the text. Internal repetitions are the subsequent occurrence of a sentence within your document. The first time a sentence appears, the translation memory software considers it as a new or fuzzy sentence, but for second (third, fourth, etc.) occurrences, the sentence is considered an internal repetition and is offered at a low rate. How does this benefit you as the customer? At a first glance, it can seem that the choice to use translation memory software or not lies with the language service provider, and that it is independent of the customer. Often, the customer does not run their own file imports, nor do they manage their own reference material. However, this does not consider the whole of the issue. Although you might not directly interact with the translation memory software, you are directly affected by its use in terms of project cost and translation quality. How can translation memory software reduce your translation cost? As a first point, starting to use translation memory software for your localisation projects has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of translation. As early as from the second translation order, you may start to see reductions in cost as the percentage of reuse from translation memory increases. These increases will vary depending on your text type; a technical manual will contain more crossover between documents than a series of marketing press releases. Additionally, however, with an awareness of translation memory software and how it works, content creation that is optimising your texts for translation reuse can further increase the likelihood of pretranslated matches within their documentation. How can translation memory software decrease the turnaround times for your translations? As well has having a positive effect on the cost of translation, use of translation memory software can also speed up translation. For our in-house team, we assume that one translator can work on 2000 words per day in a completely new document. If the same translator is reviewing a pretranslated document, we would estimate that they can review 10,000 words per day. That’s five times faster! These are conservative estimates, so actual speed increases could be even higher. How can translation memory software improve the quality of your translations? Translation quality is notoriously difficult to measure as it can be highly subjective. For the purposes of this article, we will look at two factors in translation quality that can be definitively linked back to the use of translation memory software. The first of these factors is consistency of terminology. TM tools includes a terminology module that can be used to provide approved terminology to the translator. During the quality assurance phase of the project, this terminology module can automatically check that the approved terminology has been implemented. The second factor wherein translation memory software can support translation quality is using integrated QA checks. There are many different quality assurance checks available to translation suppliers. In addition to the standard spellcheck that you might expect, there is also a format check. This is particularly useful for checking the correct usage of punctuation, capitalisation and number localisation. For a long time, translation memory software has been the domain of the language service provider. Honestly, I’m not sure that I see this changing in the majority of cases. However, I do believe that knowledge is power. If you know a little bit more about the tools that are used to work on your projects, you can adapt your processes to make the best use of it.
翻译记忆软件最早是在20世纪70年代讨论的,但直到90年代,第一个翻译记忆工具才被翻译人员和客户使用。任何翻译内存工具的主要目的都是尽可能地重用现有文本,从而减少翻译工作。 如果您不在本地化行业,或熟悉某些信息处理的概念,那么 TM 软件的内部工作可能与您无关。本文基于我们的最终翻译指南中给出的信息,旨在为您提供有关 TM 工具如何工作以及它们能提供的好处的基本知识。 是否有必要了解翻译记忆软件的工作原理? 语言服务提供商及其翻译人员将是翻译记忆工具的主要用户,应该熟悉这些记忆工具的高级功能。 而对于技术写作人员而言,理解翻译记忆软件的基本原理,以及它如何处理语言单位,可能影响技术写作人员写内容的方式。如果技术写作人员在写作时,能意识到潜在的翻译方法,就可以在长期内大大节省成本。 什么是翻译记忆软件? 简而言之,翻译记忆软件可以存储先前翻译过的文本的“句段”,在翻译过程中通过将这些现有翻译作为建议来帮助人工翻译。这样可以提高翻译的一致性,并加快翻译过程,从而节省成本。 翻译记忆软件工具的基本原理是什么? 翻译记忆工具将文本视为一系列语言单元,称为句段。“句段”可以是分句、句子、段落或类似句子的单元。 源文本中的每个段都对应到目标文本中的相应段。翻译完成后,翻译记忆软件将存储翻译内容,以备将来使用,可以随后在文档中或在将来的某个日期使用。 在开始任何翻译项目时,翻译记忆库软件都会分析内容,并使用模糊逻辑算法来考虑现有翻译记忆库中的完全匹配和部分匹配。 什么是模糊逻辑算法? 通常,和现代计算机的根基——布尔逻辑不同,模糊逻辑在计算中考虑的不是“真或假”,而是“真度”。 翻译记忆软件中,会将每个句段与现有翻译进行比较,以得出模糊匹配百分比。该百分比表示新文本与现有翻译之间的相似性。 翻译记忆库引擎会考虑段中的单词,查看有多少个单词相同,有多少个单词不同,是否添加或删除了单词,是否在句子中移动了单词。它还会查看句子的大写和标点符号,这些都会影响模糊匹配百分比。 总体而言,翻译行业将70%或更高的模糊评级归类为模糊匹配。如果模糊评分低于70%,那么句子可能差异太多,以至于修改句子所需的时间可能比重新开始翻译句子还要长。 翻译记忆软件和机器翻译引擎有什么区别? 翻译记忆库软件使用现有资料中的参考资料,以提供相似翻译的精确匹配和建议。 翻译的主要工作是由人工翻译完成的。 而机器翻译工具(也称为机器翻译引擎)使用现有的翻译和人工智能算法来翻译整个文本。 然后,人员可以对这些翻译进行“后期编辑”,以修改机器翻译造成的错误。 什么是内部重复? 将新文档和旧文档比对以寻找匹配的译文时,翻译记忆库软件还会查看文本中的内部重复。 内部重复指句子在同一文档中的重复出现。句子第一次出现时,翻译记忆库软件会将其视为新句子或模糊句子,但是第二(第三、第四等)次出现时,该句子视为内部重复。 翻译记忆软件如何降低翻译成本? 首先,开始在本地化项目中使用翻译记忆库软件可能会极大地降低翻译成本。 早在第二个翻译顺序开始,随着翻译记忆库重用百分比的增加,您可能开始看到成本的降低。 翻译记忆库重用百分比的增加幅度取决于文本的类型。例如,技术手册与一系列营销新闻稿相比,文件的语句重合度更高。 翻译记忆软件如何缩短翻译周期? 翻译记忆软件不仅能降低成本,还能提升翻译的速度。通常而言,一些翻译公司认为译员可以每天翻译2000词全新的文档,而同样的译员如果审校预翻译的文档,大约每天能审校1万词,速度提升了五倍。这只是保守的估计,真是的速度提升程度可能更大。 翻译记忆软件如何提升翻译质量? 众所周知,翻译质量很难衡量,因为它具有很高的主观性。出于本文的目的,我们将研究翻译质量中的两个因素,这些因素可以明确地与翻译记忆库软件的使用有关。 第一个因素是术语的一致性。 翻译记忆工具中有一个术语模块,可用于向翻译人员提供批准过的术语。在项目的质量保证 (Quality Assurance) 阶段,此术语模块可以自动检查是否已应用批准的术语。 第二个因素是综合使用各种QA工具。有许多不同的QA方法可供翻译供应商使用。除了标准拼写检查之外,还有格式检查。这对于检查标点符号、大写字母和数字的本地化尤其有用。 (已编译)