Translation memory can save you potentially huge amounts of time and money. It works by storing the source texts of all your previous translations, and automatically reusing any segments that are the same/similar on new projects. For documents like instruction manuals (i.e. that change very little version-to-version), the savings can be truly enormous.
For professional translators, translation memory tools like Memsource are a real game changer. On long-term projects, it means the full length of documents will not need to be translated over and over, and as your memory base grows, the amount of content that needs to be translated is continuously reduced.
For group translation projects, sharing translation memory also guarantees total consistency of terminology, as it ensures that all translators are translating key words and phrases uniformly.
Prior to translation memory software, an editor would need to post-review all documents to ensure consistency.
Translation memory is ideal for legal and financial documents, technical and medical documents, product manuals, software interfaces, support portals, video game localization, product descriptions and eCommerce.