The Pitfalls of Using Standalone TMX Editors

Updating a translation memory is easy peasy, right? It happens every day, directly in the CAT tool or TMS you’ve been using for years. Most of the time, it’s a linguist who makes the change, and a Linguistic Manager at the language services provider (LSP) approves the change (preferably) before it happens. The Project Manager rests easy, possibly even oblivious to the change. Job done.

Still, there may come moments where for one technical reason or another, you need to update a translation memory file (what we refer to as TMX) outside your known environment.

What do you do then?

In The Nimdzi Technology Atlas, we list a few examples of standalone, downloadable TMX Editors:

Working with a standalone tool is fine for infrequent or occasional updates, but if you’re working on a project that requires frequent updates to the TMX, using an external tool likely isn’t a viable solution for you.

Here’s why:

  • If you don’t have a designated person doing the updates, having multiple people updating the TMX may lead to versioning issues. In other words, with whom lies the responsibility of implementing the updates and uploading them back to the CAT tool? You’ll need to develop a workflow for one go-to person handling this and everyone needs to adhere to it.
  • Adding extra tooling/workflows burdens your overall operations and will result in at least one person spending unnecessary time on this task. Something to consider is how much time you expect to gain by using an external tool as opposed to the usual way of doing the updates directly in the CAT tool/TMS.
  • Adding extra tooling for one specific situation (so, essentially adding an exception) will probably not be a long-term scalable solution. Is this a solution you will be leveraging elsewhere?

Another aspect to consider if you want to avoid the hassle of external solutions is internal development capabilities – if you’re an LSP, think about developing your own tool.

The application may be niche but you’ll be showcasing added value to your customers, regardless of the practicality of any such application.

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