Working with translation memories
A translation memory is a file or database containing source-language segments and translated versions of the segments. A segment is a unit of the text to be translated (usually a sentence). The purpose of a translation memory is to reduce the amount of time involved in translating documents by enabling a translator to reuse previous translations. A translator can:
Check the translation memory for translations which could be used to translate the current segment of the text
Apply the best translation for the current segment found by the translation memory's lookup feature
Search the translation memory for previous translations of a word or phrase (concordance search)
A new translation can be added to the translation memory and is immediately available for use in the other documents. Many translation memory actions are automated e.g. when the cursor moves to a new segment a translation memory lookup is automatically performed.
 
 
OVERVIEW: MAIN TOPICS
›› Automated Translation Memory Actions
›› Concordance Searching
›› Translation Memory Lookup
›› Translation Memory Matches
›› Updating a Translation Memory

›› Automated Translation Memory Actions [UP]

Many translation memory operations are performed automatically:
When you open a translation memory, SDL Trados Studio automatically goes to the first unconfirmed segment in the current document and checks the translation memory for segment matches.
When matches are found, the best match is automatically applied.
If a 100% match or a context match is found, the translation is automatically applied, the segment is confirmed and the cursor is moved to the next unconfirmed segment.
When you confirm a translated segment, the translation is automatically saved in the translation memory.

Automation settings are located in the Options dialog box and can be changed at any time.

 
›› Concordance Searching [UP]
Concordance searching enables you to search the translation memory for a particular word, word sequence or phrase. Translation units containing the word or phrase are found and displayed in the Concordance Search window where you can see how they have been translated previously. You can search both source language segments and target language segments. The part of the segment that corresponds to your search value is highlighted in yellow.
Concordance Search Settings
When you perform a concordance search, you can set it up to find exact matches only, or exact matches and partial (fuzzy) matches. In the Options dialog box under Editor > Concordance Search Window are settings that control the way search results are displayed. For example, you can choose a different color for highlighting matching text in search results. You can also specify here if you want SDL Trados Studio to automatically run the concordance search when the translation memory search does not generate any results for a segment by enabling the Perform search if the TM lookup returns no results option. This option is disabled by default. Other concordance search settings control which translation memory matches are used for concordance searching. For example, you can choose the minimum match value required for the translation memory text to be displayed. Translation Memory > Search settings can be found in the following locations:
If you want to change your project settings for the active project select Home tab > Project Settings to display the Project Settings dialog box
If you want to change settings for the active document select Home tab > Project Settings to display the Project Settings dialog box
If you want to change your default settings select File > Options from the menu bar to display the Options dialog box
Character-based Concordance Searching
If the Enable character-based concordance search option is selected, Trados Studio indexes groupings of characters within a word. This can result in more partial (fuzzy) matches and bigger indexes. For example, if you enable this option and you search the translation memory for the word "resource", your search results may include "resource", "resources" and "sources". The search results include all three words because they each contain groupings of characters that are the same.
Should I enable or disable character-based concordance searching?
If you have a large translation memory, enabling this option can increase the size of your translation memory and also increase the response time for concordance searching. For this reason, you may want to disable this option.
If you have a small to medium-sized translation memory, enabling this option can help in finding truncated or misspelled words in your translation memory without a large increase in the response time for concordance searching.
You cannot change this setting once the translation memory has been created.
 
›› Translation Memory Lookup [UP]
A lookup is a search of the translation memory for existing translations which could be used to translate the current segment of the text. Lookups are performed on source language segments only. The current source document segment is the 'lookup value' and the translation memory is searched for segments that match the lookup value. Where there is a sufficiently good match between the content of the document segment and a translation memory segment, the translation memory segment and its translations are retrieved into the Translation Results window where you can view them and decide whether you want to apply one of the translations to the current segment.
Apply Lookup Results
When you apply a lookup result to the current segment, the translation retrieved from the translation memory is pasted into the target segment.
▪ If the translation requires no further editing, you can confirm the translation and move on.
▪ If the translation is not exactly right, you can edit it in the usual way.
▪ If you have Track Changes enabled, it is automatically turned off when the TM match is applied. You can change this setting in the Options dialog box under Editor > Automation.
When you apply a lookup result to the current segment, the accuracy of the match is expressed as a percentage in the segment status column in the center of the Editor window.
Translation Memory Matches
The matching translation memory segments found by the lookup are graded according to the accuracy of the match. The matches are all displayed in the Translation Results window, with the best match displayed first. Translation memory matches are expressed as percentages. The best match is a 100% match, less than 100% matches are known as fuzzy matches.
Automated Lookups
By default, SDL Trados Studio automatically performs a lookup whenever the cursor is moved to an untranslated segment. The lookup results are displayed in the Translation Results window and the best result is automatically applied to the current segment. If the match is a 100% match or a context match, the system automatically confirms the translation and moves the cursor to the next untranslated segment. All automated translation memory actions are controlled from the Options dialog box under Editor > Automation. You can switch automated actions off and on again at any time.
Lookup Settings
To view the list of translation memories that will be applied to the active document and specify which translation memories will be used in lookups, display the Project Settings dialog box. Translation memory settings are located under the Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation branch of the navigation tree.
 
›› Translation Memory Matches [UP]
When SDL Trados Studio performs a lookup, it compares the content of the current source document segment to segments of the same language in the translation memory. It looks for translation memory segments which have enough content in common with the document segment for the segment translation held in the translation memory to be of use. The accuracy of the match of a source document segment and a translation memory segment is expressed as a percentage. For example, if the content of a translation memory segment matches the document segment exactly, that is a 100% match. To qualify as a 100% match, the entire content (all characters and character formatting) of both the source document segment and the translation memory segment must match exactly. Where a document segment and a translation memory segment match exactly and also have the same document context, this is a context match. A less than 100% match is a fuzzy match. In theory, a fuzzy match could be anything between 99% and 1%. However, there is a point below which there is insufficient usable content in the translation for it to be of use. This cut-off point is known as the 'fuzzy match threshold'.
Fuzzy Match Threshold
The default fuzzy match threshold for SDL Trados Studio is 70%. This means that when the accuracy of the match of a source document segment and a translation memory segment is less than 70%, it is not treated as a match. The fuzzy match threshold is a setting that can be raised or lowered. To set the fuzzy match threshold for your:
Project: use the Project Settings dialog box.
Active document: use the Project Settings dialog box.
Default settings: use the Options dialog box.
Context Matches
A context match is better than a 100% match. To be a context match, the translation memory segment must be a 100% match for the document segment and the two segments must have the same document context. For the document segment and the translation memory segment to have the same context, they must both have been preceded by the same segment. Context matching is possible because context information is stored in the translation memory. When you add a new translation to a translation memory, three segments are added:
The source document segment
The segment translation
The segment preceding the source document segment. If there is no preceding segment, other context information is uploaded, such as the information that the segment was the document header, for example.
Context segments cannot be seen when you view the contents of the translation memory.
PerfectMatch
A PerfectMatch is a form of context match that compares updated source files to a corresponding set of existing bilingual documents rather than to a translation memory. Segment matches, known as PerfectMatches, are checked for context, that is, the surrounding entries are checked to ensure that they are the same. In addition, if your existing bilingual document was segmented differently to the current document or had merged segments, PerfectMatch can dynamically merge up to three consecutive segments in your current document to improve your match results. The translations are then extracted from the existing bilingual documents and transferred to the updated source files. Because the PerfectMatch segment matching process includes a check for context and segmentation, PerfectMatch units typically need no further translation or editing during translation.
 
›› Updating a Translation Memory [UP]
When you have finished translating a segment, you can add the new translation to the translation memory that is currently open. Any custom field values specified in the translation memory update settings are automatically assigned to the new translations as soon as you add the new translation. These translations are immediately available to use in lookups for the current document and other documents. If you update the TM with a translation unit that has tracked changes in the source and/or target, the translation memory is updated with all changes accepted.
Automated Updates
A new translation is automatically added to the translation memory when you confirm the translation or approve the translation by default. This updates the project translation memory. However, if no project translation is available, the main translation memory is updated. You can change which translation memory is updated.
Manual Updates
If you prefer to add the translations manually, you can change this setting at any time in the Automation settings which are located in the Options dialog box. You can then manually update the translation memory with new translations for the active document in the Editor view. To do this, run the "Update Main Translation Memories" or "Update Project Translation Memories" batch task from the File menu.
How to update the TM with translations from all of the TM Project Files
1. To run a batch task on all of the files in a project, choose the type of translation memory to update by selecting one of the following:
Projects view > Home tab > Tasks group > Batch Tasks > Update Main Translation Memories
Projects view > Home tab > Tasks group > Batch Tasks > Update Project Translation Memories
2. The Batch Processing wizard is displayed on the Batch Tasks page. Click Next.
3. The Files page is displayed. All files for the active project are listed here. If the files list is not correct, close the Batch Processing wizard and follow the instructions below on How to update the TM with translations from a group of files instead.
4. Click Next. The Settings page is displayed.
5. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory Updates from the navigation tree. On this page:
Select which translations are added to the translation memory. This defaults to segments that are fully translated and approved
Select whether the translation units are added as new translation units or replace existing translation units
6. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation > Update from the navigation tree. The Field Values box is displayed on the right. It lists the values that will be appended to each new translation added to this translation memory. Select different values if required.

If the field values available are incorrect, you cannot change them here. Translation memory management is performed in the Translation Memory section.

7. When you have finished working with task settings, click Next. The Performing Tasks page is displayed. Each task is run in order; a progress bar indicates the progress of the current task.
8. When the selected task/task sequence is complete, if you want to view the task results, display them in a report or save them to a file, select the task and click Task Results to display the Task Results dialog box.
9. Click Close when you have finished working with the task results. Any reports generated from the batch task are displayed in the Reports view.
How to update the TM with translations from a group of files
1. To update the TM with translations from a group of files in a project, select the files in the Files view and select the type of translation memory to update:
Files view > File Actions group > Batch Tasks > Update Main Translation Memories
Files view > File Actions group > Batch Tasks > Update Project Translation Memories
2. The Batch Processing wizard is displayed on the Batch Tasks page. Click Next
3. The Settings page is displayed. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory Updates from the navigation tree. On this page:
▪ Select which translations are added to the translation memory. This defaults to segments that are fully translated and approved.
▪ Select whether the translations are added as new translation units or replace existing translation units.
4. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation > Update from the navigation tree. The Field Values box is displayed on the right. It lists the values that will be appended to each new translation added to this translation memory. Select different values if required.

If the field values available are incorrect, you cannot change them here. Translation memory management is performed in the Translation Memories view.

5. When you have finished working with task settings, click Next. The Performing Tasks page is displayed. Each task is run in order; a progress bar indicates the progress of the current task.
6. When the selected task/task sequence is complete, if you want to view the task results, display them in a report or save them to a file, select the task and click Task Results to display the Task Results dialog box.
7. Click Close when you have finished working with the task results. Any reports generated from the batch task are displayed in the Reports view.
How to Update the TM with Translations from the Active Document
1. To update the TM with translations from the active document, choose the type of translation memory to update:
Files view > File Actions group > Batch Tasks > Update Main Translation Memories
Files view > File Actions group > Batch Tasks > Update Project Translation Memories

The active document is automatically closed. It will re-open when the batch processing is finished.

2. The Batch Processing wizard is displayed on the Batch Tasks page. Click Next.
3. The Settings page is displayed. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory Updates from the navigation tree. On this page:
Select which translations are added to the translation memory. This defaults to segments that are fully translated and approved
Select whether the translations are added as new translation units or replace existing translation units
4. Select Language Pairs > All Language Pairs > Translation Memory and Automated Translation > Update from the navigation tree. The Field Values box is displayed on the right. It lists the values that will be appended to each new translation added to this translation memory. Select different values if required. If the field values available are incorrect, you cannot change them here. Translation memory management is performed in the Translation Memories view.
5. When you have finished working with task settings, click Next. The Performing Tasks page is displayed. Each task is run in order; a progress bar indicates the progress of the current task.
6. When the selected task/task sequence is complete, if you want to view the task results, display them in a report or save them to a file, select the task and click Task Results to display the Task Results dialog box.
7. Click Close when you have finished working with the task results. Any reports generated from the batch task are displayed in the Reports view.