Before trying to understand what a .TMX file is, let's first talk about Translation Memory.
Translation Memory can be thought of as a bilingual content management system. It stores translations in a source language>target language XML file for future reuse in new translation requests. Translation Memory is part of every effective translation management strategy and is the oldest translation technology in use today. It is used by virtually every major language service provider in the world and almost all professional translators.
Translation Memory helps users translate and edit files significantly faster. It’s ideal for long-shelf life content that changes frequently like owner’s manuals, service information, websites, NDA’s, and hospital and legal forms.
Many of these document types require regular revisions where the majority of the text remains unchanged. Translation Memory lets you reuse the previous translations on the legacy text and the user will only need to translate the new text. Translation Memory allows users to automatically create translations with colleagues when users request translations, edit translations and populate their translation memories with their translations.
How Does it Work?
Translation Memory breaks down file text into segments that are usually no larger than a sentence long.
These segments are then compared to previously translated segments that reside in the Translation Memory. The system will search for exact segment matches, also known as 100% matches or Context Matches, and imperfect matches, known as Fuzzy Matches, to retrieve the previous translations from the Translation Memory and place them in the translated file for the user.
The more documents you translate and edit, the larger the Translation Memory grows and the less time you will spend translating and editing.
Why Should You Care?
Your users and organization should treat translations as "intellectual property." TMX allows your company to deliver previously translated content across your organization. Companies that integrate translation memory into their translation process will see great gains in productivity and a decrease in costs, as well as the time it takes to produce quality translations.