FAQ

TM-Town is the place where professional translators organize and manage work, collaborate with trusted colleagues, and find highly relevant clients. TM-Town is also the place where individuals and companies in need of professional translation go to find the best, most relevant translators. Below are the most frequently asked questions on how TM-Town works. If you still need help, please feel free to contact us.

TM-Town's matching system uses proprietary technology to study the work you have done. By doing advanced natural language processing on the vocabulary of your work, TM-Town's system is able to learn your work and the relevant fields and language pairs that your expertise covers.

TM-Town is a platform to help you connect with end clients looking for professional translators. On TM-Town clients can message you directly from your TM-Town public profile. Whether and how you choose to work with that client is then up to you. TM-Town does not receive money nor a cut on any jobs you may get from the platform. TM-Town's business model is based on translator membership subscriptions.

Depending on where you are in your translation career as well as the types of work agreements you usually work on, you may not have work you can load into TM-Town.

We've got your back, though!

There are two ways we've given you to show your expertise through your work: Sample Translations, and Deshi.

Sample Translations:

We're constantly building a library of open source, topic specific content that you can translate to add translation units to your TM-Town account.

So whether you're just starting out in freelance translation or don't have work that you're free to upload, we provide sample translations so that you can also benefit from our client matching technology. We're happy to add more in any language pair, so please don't hesitate to let us know.

Deshi, Our Desktop Application:

The other option you have is to use Deshi, our free desktop application that analyzes your work offline, which helps you to get credit for work that you may not otherwise be able to upload.

Deshi TM-Town

TM-Town has both a Traditional Directory Search as well as a first-of-its-kind translator search engine to help you find the best professional translator for your particular job. You can then message that translator directly to find out about her/his availability, rates, etc.

Any work you load into TM-Town is private and secure by default - only you can view it (Learn more about TM-Town's privacy policy here). The only data that is made public from an upload is:

  • Number of translation units
  • Any fields of expertise you tag the document with
  • Any language pairs in that document

The number of translation units in the document are shown on your public profile and in the Browse area of TM-Town. If you would not like this information added to your public profile, it is possible to hide a document. This option can be found by clicking on the document in the 'Your Work' section of the site and then clicking on the 'Document Management' tab.

A hidden document will not count toward your Translation Unit count on your public profile, it will not register in any section of the Browse area of TM-Town, and it will not show in the 'Recent Activity' of the TM-Town Dashboard.

By default, your work is private and clients can not see your work.

After sign-up, TM-Town asks translators to state their Don't Bother Me Rate. This is not a minimum rate, but simply a rate at which TM-Town will filter messages to you that do not meet this threshold. TM-Town strives to match clients in need of high quality translation with the most relevant professionals in that area of expertise.

It is easy to load your work into TM-Town's system. After registering for an account there is a simple form where you can upload your work (TM files, terminology files, source and target texts, etc.). For more details and a video tutorial, please see TM-Town's Getting Started Guide.

TM-Town takes privacy and security very seriously. Every document a translator loads into TM-Town's system is automatically private and secure. Even with these protections, some translators have mentioned they would be even more comfortable if confidential information could be redacted from a document before it is loaded into TM-Town's system.

Based on this feedback TM-Town released a tool that allows translators to semi-automatically redact confidential information from a document before it is saved onto TM-Town's servers. As TM-Town's matching algorithm is heavily focused on domain specific terminology, removing confidential information such as names, places, dates, numbers, emails or web addresses will not affect the ability of the algorithm to select the best translator for a job.

When you register for TM-Town you will be asked to choose your top language pair. If you would like to add more language pairs you can upgrade your membership. Our Starter package offers up to 2 language pairs while our Professional package offers up to 3 language pairs.

TM-Town also automatically determines your language pairs based on the work you upload. A language pair will be added to your public profile if you upload a translation memory (TM) file, a terminology glossary, or if you align a source and target document.

Please note that while it is possible to add language pairs to your public profile based on the work you upload, you will only show up in searches in our Traditional Directory Search for your chosen language pairs.

TM is an abbreviation for Translation Memory. A Translation Memory file is a file that stores your previous translations in a standardized format. TM files store your previous translations in the form of segments (sentences, paragraphs or sentence-like units). A connected source segment and target segment is called a translation unit. Popular industry standard TM file formats include TMX and XLIFF.

TM-Town system can automatically create a TM file for you if you upload a source and target text. This is done through TM-Town's free automatic alignment tool. You can then download your TM file in various industry standard formats.

When you load your work into TM-Town's system there are various professional tools that you can use to view a detailed analysis of your work. One statistic you may see is the number of Translation Units or Term Concepts that you have loaded.

A Translation Unit is a group of related segments (or sentences). For example: if you have one sentence in English and the translation of that sentence in Spanish, those two sentences combine to form one Translation Unit. The industry standard format to store Translation Units is typically in a translation memory (TM) file such as a TMX or XLIFF file. On TM-Town it is easy to upload translation memory files.

A Term Concept is very similar but for terms instead of segments. For example: if you have an English term and the Spanish translation of that term, those two terms combine to form a Term Concept. The industry standard file type to store term data is TBX. If you have a TBX file it is easy to load it into TM-Town's system.

On TM-Town, when you upload a document the contents of that document are automatically private and secure. The only information from that document that is made public is:

  • Number of translation units
  • Any fields of expertise you tag the document with
  • Any language pairs in that document

The number of translation units in the document are shown on your public profile and in the Browse area of TM-Town. If you would not like this information added to your public profile, it is possible to hide a document. This option can be found by clicking on the document in the 'Your Work' section of the site and then clicking on the 'Document Management' tab.

A hidden document will not count toward your Translation Unit count on your public profile, it will not register in any section of the Browse area of TM-Town, and it will not show in the 'Recent Activity' of the TM-Town Dashboard.

Yes, please see below. If there is a field of expertise that you think is missing please contact TM-Town and, if appropriate, it will be added. TM-Town does not allow translators to add custom fields in order to avoid duplicates, misspellings, etc.

The current listing of fields of expertise on TM-Town is the following:

  • 3d printing
  • abbreviations
  • academic
  • access control
  • accessibility
  • accounting
  • acronyms
  • activism
  • adult
  • adventure
  • advertising
  • aerospace
  • agreement
  • agriculture
  • agronomy
  • airline
  • alternative medicine
  • aluminum
  • anatomy
  • animal husbandry
  • animation
  • annual report
  • anthropology
  • anthroposophy
  • aquarium
  • archaeology
  • architecture
  • art
  • art history
  • art philosophy
  • arts & crafts
  • astronomy
  • audioguide
  • audiovisual
  • audit
  • automation
  • automation systems
  • automotive
  • aviation
  • ballooning
  • banking
  • bariatrics
  • beauty
  • bible
  • bicycles
  • bids tender
  • bilingualism
  • biofuel
  • biology
  • biotech
  • birth certificate
  • book discussion
  • books
  • botany
  • building
  • business
  • business correspondence
  • cards
  • care instructions
  • casino
  • casting
  • catering
  • ceramics
  • certificates
  • chemistry
  • children
  • children's literature
  • cinema
  • civil engineering
  • climate
  • climbing
  • clothing
  • coal mining
  • comic books
  • commerce
  • communications
  • communities
  • computers
  • computer science
  • computers (general)
  • computers (hardware)
  • computers (networking)
  • computers (software)
  • computers (systems)
  • conservation
  • construction
  • contracts
  • cooking
  • copyediting
  • copywriting
  • corporate
  • corporate media
  • cosmetics
  • crime
  • culinary
  • culture
  • curriculum
  • customs
  • data protection
  • deed
  • defense
  • dentistry
  • deposition
  • design
  • development cooperation
  • disabilities
  • documentary
  • drama and theater
  • drilling
  • drugs
  • earth sciences
  • ecology
  • e-commerce
  • economics
  • economy
  • education
  • e-learning
  • electrical engineering
  • electrics
  • electronics
  • employment
  • energy
  • engineering
  • engineering (aerospace)
  • engineering (chemistry)
  • engineering (electrical)
  • engineering (general)
  • engineering (industrial)
  • engineering (mechanical)
  • engineering (nuclear)
  • enterprise resource planning
  • entertainment
  • environment
  • equine
  • erotica
  • esoteric
  • ethics
  • european union
  • fashion
  • fiber optics
  • fiction
  • film
  • finance
  • financial markets
  • fine arts
  • fisheries
  • fitness
  • folklore
  • food
  • food industry
  • food processing equipment
  • football
  • forest management
  • forestry
  • franchise agreement
  • fruit
  • furniture
  • games
  • gaming
  • gastronomy
  • gems
  • genealogy
  • general
  • genetics
  • geodesy
  • geography
  • geology
  • geophysics
  • geopolitics
  • government
  • graphic arts
  • graphic design
  • graphics
  • handbooks
  • hardware
  • health
  • health care
  • health education
  • history
  • home appliances
  • home automation
  • hotels
  • humanities
  • human resources
  • human rights
  • humor
  • hunting
  • hydraulics
  • imaging
  • immigration and refugees
  • industrial
  • industrial safety
  • information technology
  • instructions
  • insurance
  • integrated management system
  • integrative medicine
  • intellectual property
  • international law
  • international organizations
  • international relations
  • internet
  • investment
  • job
  • journalism
  • labor
  • land
  • language
  • lasers
  • law
  • law (contracts)
  • law (copyright)
  • law (general)
  • law (patents)
  • law (taxation & customs)
  • law (trademarks)
  • lease
  • lease agreement
  • legal
  • legislation
  • leisure
  • licence agreement
  • life sciences
  • lifestyle
  • linguistics
  • literature
  • livestock
  • localization
  • locking systems
  • logistics
  • lubricants
  • machinery
  • machine tools
  • magazine article
  • management
  • management consulting
  • manuals
  • manufacturing
  • maritime
  • marketing
  • market research
  • materials
  • mathematics
  • mechanical engineering
  • mechanics
  • media
  • medical
  • medical (cardiology)
  • medical (clinical trial)
  • medical (dentistry)
  • medical (health care)
  • medical (instruments)
  • medical (pharmaceuticals)
  • medical (psychiatry)
  • merchandising
  • metallurgy
  • metals
  • meteorology
  • microbiology
  • military
  • mining
  • ministry
  • mobile application
  • modern art
  • motorcross
  • motorcycles
  • motor mechanics
  • motorsport
  • mountain biking
  • multimedia
  • museums
  • music
  • names
  • nature
  • naturopathy
  • networking
  • newspaper articles
  • newspapers
  • novel
  • nuclear
  • nuclear energy
  • numismatics
  • nutrition
  • occupational safety
  • oenology
  • official documents
  • offshore drilling
  • oil & gas
  • ophtalmology
  • osteopathy
  • painting
  • paper
  • paper manufacturing
  • para-science
  • patents
  • pedagogy
  • pediatrics
  • personal documents
  • petroleum
  • pharmaceuticals
  • pharmacology
  • philosophy
  • photography
  • physics
  • plants
  • plastic
  • poetry
  • police
  • politics
  • power
  • precious stones
  • press release
  • printing
  • privacy
  • process management
  • products
  • project management
  • promotions
  • provider
  • psychology
  • public agency
  • public policy
  • public procurement
  • public relations
  • publishing
  • quality control
  • radio
  • railway technology
  • real estate
  • recipes
  • reclamation
  • recreation
  • regulations
  • rehabilitation
  • religion
  • report
  • research
  • resources
  • retail
  • road cycling
  • robotics
  • ropes
  • rubber
  • safety
  • sailing
  • sales
  • school
  • science
  • securities
  • shipping
  • ships
  • shopping
  • short story
  • slang
  • smartphones
  • soccer
  • social media
  • social networking
  • social science
  • social security
  • social work
  • sociology
  • software
  • soil
  • solar technology
  • space
  • special needs
  • sporting competitions
  • sport medicine
  • sports
  • statistics
  • steiner education
  • steiner-waldorf
  • subtitles
  • supply chain management
  • surgical instruments
  • surveying
  • sustainability
  • symbols
  • taxes
  • tax law
  • technical
  • technical documentation
  • technical regulations
  • technology
  • telecommunications
  • tender bids
  • textiles
  • timber
  • tools
  • tourism
  • trading
  • traffic management
  • trains
  • transportation
  • travel
  • TV
  • urbanism
  • veganism
  • vegetarianism
  • veterinary
  • video editing
  • video games
  • viticulture
  • war
  • water
  • web
  • web design
  • website translation
  • wine
  • wood
  • wood industry
  • woodworking
  • word processing
  • work regulations
  • work safety
  • zoology

Yes, TM-Town is under continuous development. There are a lot of features planned for roll-out in the near future - all of them aimed at making your life as a translator easier and helping you get better, higher paying translation jobs in your field of expertise. If you have a feature request, please send us a message.

No, your original file will always be stored safely and securely and you can download it at any time. It will be just as you uploaded it (unmodified).

One additional benefit of TM-Town is that you will also be able to easily download your TM file in other formats. For example, if you uploaded a TMX you will not only be able to download your original unmodified file, but you can also download your file as an XLIFF, XLS file, or CSV file.

The only exception is if you use TM-Town's new confidential information redaction tool. In this case your original document will not be available as it is never saved into TM-Town's system and is immediately deleted from memory after the confidential information redaction is finished.

TM-Town's mission is to create a better translation world through technology and specialization. Therefore, the restrictive nature of only allowing Professional tier members to choose up to 3 language pairs and 5 fields of expertise is on purpose to encourage you to specialize.

Regardless of your chosen language pairs and fields of expertise, there is actually no restriction on the number of language pairs or fields of expertise you can ultimately load work in. TM-Town is also built on the principle of 'showing' what you can do, not just saying it.

For members on our Basic (Free) tier, there is no option to change the top language pair and fields of expertise that you select when you register for TM-Town. This is to discourage translators from continually changing fields or language pairs to 'game' the system. If you mistakenly selected an incorrect language pair or field of expertise please contact TM-Town support and the issue will be corrected.

On the Basic (Free) tier you are allowed to specify up to 1 language pair and 3 fields of expertise. On the Starter tier you can specify up to 2 language pairs and 4 fields of expertise and on the Professional tier you can specify up to 3 language pairs and 5 fields of expertise.

For paying members you can edit your chosen language pairs and fields of expertise on your Account Settings page.

TM-Town's directory rankings are not based purely on any one metric. Translators who have loaded a TM, glossary, or Deshi-generated .town file in a specific language pair will rank over translators who have only loaded monolingual documents or have not loaded work in that specific language pair.

The best way to improve your ranking in the TM-Town directory is to load TM files, aligned source and target documents, glossaries, or Deshi .town files in that combination (language pair and field of expertise).

A translation unit consists of 1 source segment and 1 or more target segments. A segment is typically the equivalent of a sentence.

Similarly, a term concept consists of 1 source term and 1 or more target terms. A term is typically a word or a short phrase.

No, TM-Town does not sell TM files. TM files (or any documents) you upload are yours and remain private and confidential.

No. However, TM-Town provides tools that you can use to build and/or sell glossaries on the TM-Town Terminology Marketplace.

For now, uploads are monitored, and if it were suspected that the uploader may not be the creator of a given work, we would investigate. In the future, we may provide certain means for attribution of work to be substantiated.

When loading a document a translator must declare the status of the document:

  • I translated this document myself
  • I partially translated this document
  • I only proofread this document
  • This document is for reference only

Documents marked as 'Reference Only' will not count toward your translation unit or term concept count. Documents marked as 'Proofread' or 'Partially Translated' will still get limited credit in matching; however, will not count toward your translation unit or term concept count.

TM-Town's system also analyzes documents for certain heuristics to detect public TMs and glossaries and may automatically classify a document as 'Reference Only' and lock the classification. If a document you loaded was classified as 'Reference Only' by TM-Town's system by mistake, please contact us.

No, TM-Town's matching system is based on an analysis of the terminology of your work and is not based on the number of exact or fuzzy matches. TM-Town does not calculate nor report the number of exact or fuzzy matches found in your work to the client.

TM-Town's matching system analyzes the terminology in the client text and compares that to an analysis of the terminology of documents translators have loaded into the system to find the best specialist for that particular job.

If you are not showing up in the Nakōdo search results please check that you have opted in for Nakōdo. This option is found in your account settings.

Also note that Nakōdo will only search translation memory (TM) files, Deshi .town files, glossaries, or aligned source and target documents. Therefore, if you only have unaligned source and target documents in your TM-Town account you will not show up in the results. You can use TM-Town's alignment tool to align your source and target documents.

TM-Town's business model is based around the following:

We believe that our business model (i.e. charging translators as opposed to charging clients) allows us to best serve you - the professional freelance translator. Charging translators allows us to stay in tune to your needs and to focus our development efforts on features and tools that improve TM-Town for you and help you to grow your translation business and manage your TMs and terms.


Interested in selling glossaries on the TM-Town Terminology Marketplace? Please see the TM-Town Terminology Marketplace FAQs and Seller Guidelines.

Still have questions? Send a message and someone from TM-Town will get back to you ASAP.