How are translation memories (TMs) leveraged for consistency in DITA translation?

Leveraging translation memories (TMs) in DITA translation workflows is a powerful technique to ensure consistency and efficiency. Here’s how translation memories are effectively used for maintaining consistency:

Reuse of Translated Segments

Translation memories store previously translated segments or sentences along with their source text. When a new document or topic needs translation, the TM is queried to identify matching segments. If a match is found, the stored translation is reused, ensuring consistency with past translations. This not only maintains linguistic consistency but also accelerates the translation process, reducing costs and time requirements.

Terminology Consistency

TMs can also store specific terminology choices and their corresponding translations. This is particularly valuable in DITA translation, where technical terms and product names need to remain consistent across all documentation. By referencing the TM, translators can ensure that the same term is consistently translated throughout various DITA topics, providing a unified and professional end-user experience.


Here’s an example of how a translation memory can help maintain consistency in DITA translation:

<topic id="product_features">
  <title>Product Features</title>
    <p>Feature 1: <ph conkeyref="featureA">Security Enhancements</ph></p>
    <p>Feature 2: <ph conkeyref="featureB">Performance Improvements</ph></p>

In this example, two product features are listed in DITA. The “conkeyref” attribute refers to a translation memory entry. If a translator has previously translated “Security Enhancements” as “Sicherheitsverbesserungen,” the same translation will be consistently applied for all occurrences of “Security Enhancements” in various DITA topics, ensuring linguistic consistency across the documentation.