Translation Memory Sharing Gains Momentum

The members of the Translation Automation User Society met recently and agreed to develop a business plan for hosting and sharing translation memories (TMs).

TMs have historically been something that companies developed for their own internal use — to cut translation costs and improve consistency and quality. But last year TM Marketplace, profiled in the February 2007 issue of Global by Design, developed a business model of brokering TMs so that companies could lease the TMs of other companies within their industry to get even greater cost savings; GM became the first company to sign on.

And now TAUS is moving ahead with TM sharing. What makes the TAUS effort important is the makeup of the TAUS membership; this organization includes a strong blend of vendors and their clients, such as Adobe, Microsoft, Cisco, eBay, EMC, HP, Google, Idiom, Lionbridge, Language Weaver, and SDL.

As a sidenote, TM Marketplace is also a TAUS member; I’ll be curious to see if the TAUS effort is complementary or competitive to what TM Marketplace is already doing.

Execution is everything of course. And this will take time; TAUS doesn’t plan to review the business model until their next meeting in October.

But what’s most important now is intent — companies intending to share their TMs to translate more content more cost effectively. And as these great pools of TM content grow, we’ll see standardization of terminology throughout industries and we’ll see machine translation software leverage these TMs to enhance their efforts.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.