One of the most important tools for a technical translator is a ‘translation memory’. This is a database that contains all the translations ever produced for a certain project or client. Using this database, a translator can locate phrases and terms translated in the past to use them again in new projects.
The quality of a translation memory depends on the accuracy of the initial translation, and this is especially true for specialist technical terminology.
So, does this mean that to translate, you just need a really good translation memory?
No, of course not, because no single translation is equally suitable for all contexts, texts and target audiences.
This is precisely why a human translator is so important: a professional specialist translator can understand the context, text and target audience, and has the ability and skills to identify the most suitable translation for each and every situation.