That’s Greek to me - Technical Terms Part 2


Abbreviations and acronyms in the translation industry generally originate in the English language and are not necessarily self-explanatory. Here we explain some of the most frequently used abbreviations.

TM (Translation Memory)

All translated units are stored in the TM.
CAT tools (see Part 1 of What do we mean when we say ... ?) divide the source text into segments. Most commonly this is one grammatical sentence. The translated segment is stored in a database and can be used for future translations. A well-maintained TM can offer significant time and cost savings.

MATCH (Translation Matches)

A “match” is the level of similarity of a segment in the TM compared to a new segment.
CAT tools make a translator’s work easier by comparing new texts to existing translations in the TM. Segments that are a perfect match are called “100% matches”. There are also 101% matches (if the segment before or after is also identical) and 102% matches (if the segments before and after also perfectly match a previous translation) that provide an indicator of congruence within the context.

Lower matches (e.g. 78%) indicate a certain difference between the stored translation and the new source text. We do not charge for 100% and higher matches.


Segments that repeat within a file/project.
Exact repetitions of a text segment within a file or a project with several files are called repetitions, even if they occur in different files within the same project. CAT tools can recognize repetitions and include them in the analysis. Repetitions must be translated only once and therefore offer potential cost advantages if texts are created with identical text modules. We do not charge for repetitions.


Creating a TM from existing translations.
If translations already exist in a digital format (source text and target text) and if they are to be used for future translation projects, then an alignment can transfer them into the TM. In this process, the source text and the target text are placed next to each other so that the relevant segments can be allocated, reviewed, and stored. This makes previous translations immediately available for new projects and they can be reused cost-effectively (see MATCH above).

TB (Termbase)

Technical terminology glossary.
CAT tools manage a TM as well as a TB with relevant, customer-specific, technical terms. Using the right terminology is key for a successful translation project. In the translation industry, wrong terminology and inconsistencies cause nearly half of all post-processing work, which affects costs as well as delivery time. Our TB management in SmartCAT is state-of-the-art. We use the customer’s existing terminology and then continuously update and manage the TB. Throughout this process, the customer has direct access to the terminology in our system.    

QA tools (Quality Assurance)

Integrated tools to ensure the quality of the translation.
QA tools offer comprehensive options to review translations for errors. The translator is informed of possible errors already while working on the translation. Today’s functions go far beyond a simple spell check: they consider grammatical rules in the target language as well as numbers and number formats, date formats, punctuation, formatting, prohibited terms, trademarks and brand names, number of characters in one segment, etc. We use lexiQA for additional quality assurance because it is one of the most cutting-edge QA tools. The project manager can use a detailed report to ensure that the translation has no defined errors.

Part 1 of our series is available here.

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