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Written by Steven Bussey
on February 20, 2020

Translation Memory eXchange (TMX) is an open XML-based standard for exchanging translation memory data.

Translation Memory eXchange (TMX) is a standard format for storage and lossless exchange of translation memory (TM) data. TMX primarily stores the following:

  • Segments (source and target);
  • Languages;
  • Creation dates and times;

Other data it can store is as follows:

  • Author(s);
  • Usage counts;
  • Change dates and times, i.e. versioning;
  • Creation tools used;
  • Domain(s), field(s), and/or topic(s);
  • Alternate translations;
  • Notes.

TMX is possibly the most important as well as the most widely implemented localization standard format in the industry. It was first released in 1997 by the Open Standards for Container/Content Allowing Re-use (OSCAR), which is a special interest group of Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA; dissolved in 2011). Since 2011 it is under a Creative Commons license. For the latest version, see version 1.4b.

Another popular standard format in the industry is XLIFF, which is also XML-based. TMX allows any number of languages in the same document, while XLIFF is designed to work with one source and one target language.

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