Archiving Own Translations

It would probably be useless to ask any responsible translator, whether he or she keeps all the data archived. Data generated, received, or created when working on translation projects are the most valuable assets of any translator. In this article, I would like to share my approach to data archiving.

I consider myself a responsible translator, who wants to keep business going smoothly. One of the pre-requisites it keeping all necessary data readily available. These are the basic elements of my approach:

1) Compressed or uncompressed data

Originally, I used RAR archiver to compress all of my data. I quit this approach, when the volume of data I processed exceeded reasonable level. The main problem was not the time necessary to actually compress the data, but rather difficulties when searching for information in my extensive archives. Large-capacity hard disks allowed storing all data in uncompressed format, and searching is made easy by Google Desktop software.

2) Archive locations

I have two hard disk drives in my desktop. In addition, I have another two 2.5″ USB hard disks. I keep my archives updated on all of these 4 storage units to avoid any loss of data (breakdown, theft, etc.).

3) Archiving intervals

I save completed projects in a separate folder called “Completed Projects”. I back up projects saved in this folder to individual archives once a month.

4) Maintaining master translation memory

I keep separate master translation memories for my main language pairs. For these translation memories, I am using SDL Trados 2007. This software is quick enough to allow concordance search even with several millions of translation units stored in the memory. In addition, I export all new translations into TMX format and make it accessible online through my personal TM server that I developed in cooperation with another programmer some time ago. The server currently holds 7.5 million records.

5) Maintaining client-specific translation memories

To make my work more convenient and organized, I keep separate translation memories for all of my major clients. In some cases, I even maintain special translation memories for individual areas/fields. Besides others, I also obtain some additional leverage by using master translation memories in addition to memories provided by clients for individual translation projects. Another advantage is a terminology consistency, since many clients use own in-house slang.

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