Stop press – EU translation memories, 2016 release

EU globeAs many of you know, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation and the Joint Research Centre make freely available translation memories which include the majority of the European Union’s legislative documents (Acquis Communautaire) and some other documents not forming part of the Acquis, in 24 EU languages.

The aim is to support multilingualism, language diversity and the re-use of Commission information.

The 2016 release of the DGT Translation Memory can be downloaded from here. Scroll down to “Download the DGT Translation Memory”,  click on “+ View Details”, and scroll down again to “”DGT-TM-release 2016”. There are 7 .zip files totalling 642 MB.


hat tip copyHat tip to Dr Karen McAuliffe and Paul Kaye, Language Officer at the European Commission, for making me aware of the release.

6 thoughts on “Stop press – EU translation memories, 2016 release

  1. Thank you for sharing, although I am less and less convinced that TMs and CAT tools can really help our translation profession…

    I can understand that they are useful within one huge organisation like the EU institutions, but for the rest, they are just a pretext to extort about 15% of freelance translators’ revenues while slowing down their work, compared to using MS Word with AutoCorrect macros (from the Tool menu), which serve as a termbase and as a typing accelerator.

    Of course newbies who have never used AutoCorrect are impressed by the apparent translation environment offered by CAT tools, but these have been created with the sole and only purpose, not to “aid” translation (their name is a fraud), but to extort rebates from translators, whose base rate had always been a minimum, to which surcharges applied, because a rate depend on each project, according to the TIME it is estimated to take, converted to per line or per word rate.

    Since SDL & co have appeared on the translation market, translators have been treated like slaves, entitled to ONE definitive base rate (in spite of inflation), to which all sorts of imposed rebates applied, based on partial analogies.

    We should stop crawling before non-translating intermediaries who present themselves as “LSPs”, which makes us, translators, what: “non-language service suppliers”?

    Come on, those people do not have the faintest idea of what translation is all about.

    LSPs compete among them on rates, thus killing their own business, which further proves that they are run by crazy people (you can be intelligent, but crazy).

    What customers want is QUALITY at a price that’s not exaggerately too high, that’s all.

    And we should EDUCATE clients, which are basically OUR clients (let’s not forget!), about the TIME that a good translation takes, with all the VERIFICATIONS that they entail.

    Those non-translating intermediaries are DISINFORMING OUR CLIENTS. They are DANGEROUS, both to us, translators, and to customers.

    And I am not even talking about the latest tendency of those computer geeks: machine translation, which produces enormous mistakes that might escape the attention of their users (translators and post-editors alike).

    Computers have to be used reasonably and not any old how.

    The same goes for computer voting machines: they are not reliable and are a real threat to democracy.

    Some computer usages are justified. Others aren’t. CAT tools aren’t. MT isn’t.

    • Thank you for your comment Isabelle. It would be interesting to see what other readers think about this issue.
      My position is that it is essential for professional legal translators to negotiate rates that correspond to their (extensive) qualifications and experience, whether with regard to technology, or other factors.
      Educating clients is also a key point.
      In the same way as lawyers and online legal service offers, I don’t think we can resist technological change completely, but it is up to us to adopt them in ways that work for us, and to ensure that the market is differentiated to make it clear how much a human legal translation practitioner has to offer, and for what sorts of work, as compared with other alternatives.

  2. Pingback: 2016 update – European Commission English Style Guide | From Words to Deeds: translation & the law

  3. Dear Isabelle,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly if the use of a Translation Memory is imposed by the client. But adopting CAT Tools can be a two-edged sword – As much as an LSP can rip you off by preventing you from charging some of your leveraged (repeat) segments, you CAN certainly use a CAT Tool to speed up the translation process and thereby pre-translate huge chunks of a translation assignment without reporting it to your client, as if you had done all the work unaided by any kind of tool. A CAT Tool can enforce consistency in terminology and as such it is a fantastic resource to apply to translations because you can maintain lexical consistency even throughout a gigantic project. Since the EU TMs are public, your client is not supposed to know whether you have used them on a specific assignment. Thus dishonesty can cut both ways. Does it make sense? Thanks for your brave comment.

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