Translation memories (TMs) store source texts and their translations by dividing them into segments. When you translate new texts, you can use translation and localization programs to retrieve and suggest related segments and translations. Using TMs is very beneficial for life science translation – one of the most regulated translation markets – where terminology consistency, accuracy and quality requirements are very high. Here are 10 ways a TM helps with your life science assets:
- Easy to make and localize changes
Need to make small changes in your manuals or instructions? When you use TM for your translations, the original version is stored in the TM. You can make the changes you want, import the new source text and, after the pre-translation, phase only the changed segments will not be automatically translated, therefore you will need to translate only the changed segments and will be able to easily review any changes you made.
- Easier documentation
If you really want to lighten the load of documentation requirements, use TM, because it allows multiple language projects to have validated templates for medical product terminology translation. This ensures consistent and correct translation of standard statements or headings. You can also make additions to the term base or flag any terms that should not be used. This helps your translators and quality assurance team be more effective. Translation software also exports the translations in the same format as the source text – no formatting issues!
- Accurate labelling and instructions
You need to localize your medical device labeling and instructions, and you’d like them to be consistent with your in-house terminology? Or maybe you have some client-specific terms that you want to use only for marketing purposes? If you use translation memories properly, you separate them according to target markets, product lines or themes. Having a TM for a specific market allows you to consistently and accurately translate and localize your technical statements, while another TM might save client-oriented material and provide consistent company style in your translations.
- Increases productivity
Gone are the days of hand-written translation speed! With a TM you can automate most of your terminology, documentation changes and translations. You can save time, because source and translation segments are shown close one another and the time needed to switch between source and translation, dictionary and glossary is much shorter. Also, repetitions are translated instantly – it doesn’t get much faster than that!
- Saves time
We already talked about how the format of the source and final documents is kept the same, while distracting formatting features are hidden during translation and revision, how repetitions are translated instantly and close (fuzzy) matches are suggested to translators to increase the speed of translation. Quality assurance also takes less time with a TM.
- Preserves your company style
Does your company have that unique style for all marketing, public relation and even technical texts? Styleguides and glossaries make your company style consistent across any (and all) content types. TM plays a vital role in conserving your company style by saving previous translations and presenting translators with preferred sentence structures, wording and terminology examples.
- Allows scalability
Increasing your product line and translation load is not a problem if you have your linguistic resources in place, because every translator can use your translation memories, styleguides. You only need one TM to translate projects using any number of translators. You can also generate a new TM from simultaneous translation (in real time, if you use tools like SDL GroupShare), which brings with it benefits during that same translation process – the translators share their TMs and increase consistency. Also, real-time revision can be executed after a part of the project is translated, ensuring higher quality in the remaining translation.
- Removes ambiguity
Life science is not a place for ambiguity. Accuracy and consistency, linguistic economy are very important in a market where lives could be at stake. When you use a TM you can be sure that no segments are left untranslated, nothing is localized using terms that were previously rejected. It really brings some peace of mind to everyone involved.
- Easy to check if translation is complete
When translation software uses TM, it segments the source and corresponding translation texts, therefore any segment that might be left untranslated is clearly visible and is never overlooked during translating, editing and final quality checks.
- Simplified editing and revision
Improve editing and revision processes by performing them in a translation memory environment, because then several intermediate steps become unnecessary, e.g. reviewing two files, copy-pasting editions and additions into the TM. Correcting the DTP layout is also automated. Quality assurance is partially automated in translation software using TM.
- Project specific dictionary
ASTM F2575 and CEN EN 15038 hold project-specific and multilingual termbases as best practice in the industry. Using term bases in word, pdf, excel or other format documents hinders productivity, because the work process is interrupted whenever a search needs to be performed. In this view a TM brings double benefits: it saves time on using the dictionary and applies it automatically, where it is due.
- Accurate estimation
Vagueness is not a symptom of good business deals – wouldn’t you agree? By using automated translation memory tools, the language service provider can estimate the price more accurately: instead of using a vague word count in Word. The LSP can account for repetitions, >70% matches from the TM and provide the client with a more accurate estimation.
- Multiple format support
There is no need to extract the text from most favorite formats (including PDF), convert it and reprocess into a DTP format after translation. Automated translation software does these tasks automatically.
Final word of caution
If you are ready to start using translation memory tools for life science translations, please check out our article on the challenges facing your linguistic assets and how to solve them!
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