The advantages of multilingual translation memory databases are evident. The biggest one is that they reduce the data management overhead. There is no need to create multiple databases to account for each language pair.
For example, a language provider with 20 clients translating into 20 languages would require the creation and management of 400 bilingual databases. But with a tool like Smartcat, this number can be reduced to just 20, which makes project creation much simpler.
All languages in one place
Having all the languages in a single place also makes it easier for the linguists to search across all translated data and access it. Remember that it’s not unusual for translators to check how a segment is translated into a related language.
With this in mind, we have introduced a new feature to make multilingual databases even more useful. This solution can be valuable for the customers who produce content in multiple languages and would like to leverage their language assets created by teams from across the world.
Smartcat already makes sharing these assets easier by centralizing them in one account with our cloud-based infrastructure and allowing access from anywhere using a browser, so this is a step forward.
How it works
Say, you produce content in English and Japanese and require translation into many other languages. The Smartcat production environment would include two TM databases — one with English, and another with Japanese as a source language. The target languages could overlap and even include both source languages.
In a legacy tool, the information in these two databases is segregated and not accessible in any project where the source language differs from the one originally selected. The user would need to first export any of the databases where the information needed is stored, create new databases and then re-import the data. With Smartcat, on the other hand, these two databases could be assigned as a reference for any project where any of the source languages are present. Here’s a screenshot to demonstrate this capability:
In this project, Japanese is the source language and English the target language. Naturally, the database where Japanese is the source language is selected automatically by Smartcat as long as it is associated with the client, as shown here.
But in addition, another database where English is the source language and Japanese is the target language has also been added automatically to the project. That database is marked as Read only for the simple reason that new segments will contain English translations, not original English text, and these cannot be trusted, like the English source text from the client. This is done to protect the data integrity.
Additional data for your team
Clearly, the English text in the read-only database cannot be as useful for straight translation as the data from the original database. But it could provide the translation team with excellent terminology information as it comes straight from the client. It will also add to the pool of segments that can be searched for concordance.
This new option will make for more consistent translations whatever the source language. In some cases, it could also lower the cost of translation providing additional fuzzy matches that can be reused by the translation team.
If linguistic assets are tagged properly with client labels, project managers will be presented with these options automatically, which is another advantage of Smartcat.
This new highly productive feature can increase style and terminology consistency and cut costs.