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translation memory

Someone recently pointed me to "translation memory" programs.  Although
I've never used them, a few minutes browsing the web convinced me that
these may be very helpful for some of our free documentation/translation
groups to use.  Can anybody tell me how useful these are for large open
documentation groups like GNOME, KDE, or the LDP?  Are any of these groups
currently using a translation memory(TM) program?  Does anybody know of
any TM programs which run on Linux, or even better - of any free TM
programs or projects?  If there are no free TM programs, would anybody be
interested in working on one?

For people who don't know what translation memory is, I'll give a brief
description of how I understand it to work:  

It is a software system which keeps a database of what you've translated
so that if you have to translate the same word, phrase, or sentence in the
future, it can suggest your old translation.  This improves the speed and
self-consistancy of the translation.  If you have a new version of a
document which you've already translated, it can use the database to
translate all the old material the same way as before, just leaving the
new material for the translator to do by hand.  The systems are generally
designed for multiple translators to share a common database, so it
improves consistancy between the various translators.  It works best for
large systems of documents, for multiple versions of documents, and when
translation is done by multiple people.  (All of which are properties of
our large free documentation/translation projects like the LDP, KDE, and 

For more information, see:


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