Common translation terms and their meanings.

Translation The process that refers to the conversion of written material from one language to another.
Adaptation In the translation industry, refers to the process of translating text into an appropriate format for the target language and culture. Expressions are translation and conveyed in a manner that is familiar and appropriate to the language and culture of the target language. In short, more liberties are taken in the translation process and equivalent text. While translation itself MUST be faithful to the original source language, adaptation and transcreation is a useful tool in creating marketing for a specific country.
Alignment The process of creating a Translation Memory from previous projects. It analyses the source and target language text of past translations and creates a file pair by corresponding and matching segments or sentences. This file pair can then be imported into a Translation Memory for use in future projects.
ATA An abbreviation for the “American Translator Association”. The American Translator Association is a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in all areas of foreign-language services.
Back translation Process of translation a document previously translated into another language back to the original source language.
Bi-directional Refers to languages that are read from the right to the left and also software that is able to accommodate these languages. (Note: usually refers to either Arabic or Hebrew).
CAT An abbreviation for Computer Aided Translations
Certified/Certification In the translation industry, being “certified“ usually refers to a translator having completed and passed a rigorous performance and quality assessment examination by an organization or institution (ie. American Translators Association). This certification establishes a minimum eligibility requirement for a translator to work with MGE Lingual Services.
CG An abbreviation for “callout graphic”. Callout graphics are on-screen pictures or text that are edited and placed on video footage.
CJK, C2JK and KCCJ Abbreviations when referring to the more common Asian languages. (Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean).
Concatenation Concatenation is a term that is often used in projects relating to automatic voice systems. A concatenation is made up of two or more independent strings that can be joined and linked together in a series. For example, the three separate elements “one hundred”, “twenty” and “three” can be combined to make “one hundred twenty-three”. (Note: grammatical rules in other languages may not accommodate certain concatenations in English and usually demand some reprogramming of automated platform systems).
Cross-platform Refers usually to the transfer of information from one type of computer operating system to another.
Desktop Publishing (DTP) The design, duplication and production of publications such as manuals, brochures, newsletters, trade journals by using computer typesetting applications with graphics capability.
Double-Byte (Multi-Byte) Double-Byte character encoding accommodates the complex forms and quantity of characters in Asian and other types of languages. Single-Byte encoding has been used primarily for languages using Roman based characters.
Editing Is the process in which changes and modifications are made to a translation and terminology to better reference the meaning of the original language.
EPS Is an abbreviation for an “encapsulated post script” file. It is an extension of the graphics file format developed by Adobe Systems. EPS are graphics files that are to be incorporated into other documents. An EPS file includes giving information such as the bounding box, page number and fonts used. Some applications that use EPS formats are also able to record fonts as outlines or curves. This allows for the printing of text as graphics without having the specific foreign-language typesetting systems or fonts. On some computers, EPS files include a low- resolution version of the PostScript image. On the Macintosh, this is in a PICT format, while on the IBM it is in a TIFF or Window’s Metafile format.
FIGS Abbreviation when referring to the more common European languages. (French, Italian, German, Spanish).
Globalization The process by which a company decides to enter a global market. Globalization reflects a progressive attitude of a company to expand its domestic market internationally.
Hard Copy Refers to materials that are in printed form.
In-language Refers to a native speaker of a language or country specific tools or applications.
Internationalization Internationalization (i18n) is the creation and design of a product for international use. Unlike “Localization” which adapts a domestic product for use internationally, “Internationalization” takes into consideration international issues while the product is in the design phase. Internationalization usually leads to one product and design for all markets.
Interpretation Sometimes referred to as “oral translation”. There are three distinct types of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive and whispered. The choice depends on the type and location of the meeting, the number of languages involved, the type of equipment and the number of participants in each language group. Each mode demands a different interpretation technique, but all three require academic training.
Leveraging The process of borrowing and using duplicate text that has already been translated in the past and recorded in translation memory. See also “Translation Memory” in this glossary and “Translation Tools” on the main menu.
Localization Localization (l10n) is the adaptation of a product initially designed for domestic use in another country. Translation is only one aspect of localization. Product color and appearance might also change to better consider another culture. Localization usually leads to different products and designs for each market segment.
Machine Translation Automatic translation by a computer from one language into another. It is the process by which computer software is used to translate a text from one language into another. There are different forms. Rule-based machine translation which relies on programmed linguistic rules and dictionaries for each language pair. Statistical machine translation are generated from statistical models that are derived from the analysis of bilingual text corpora.
Proofreading Is the process in which errors are detected through a careful reading of a translation.
Simplified Chinese A simplified writing style for Chinese that is used in Mainland China and Singapore.
Softcopy Refers to materials that are in electronic form and can be read and manipulated by a computer.
Source Count Refers to the number of words in the original text to be translated.
Source Language The language or text from which a translation is being made.
Target Count Refers to the number of words in the translated text.
Target Language The language or text into which a translation is being made.
Terminologist A terminologist acts as a terminological hub between translators. A terminologist categorizes and assesses the adequacy and quality of terminology provided by a team of translators. He knows the client’s requirements and their sensitivity to the quality of terminological data.
Terminology Management System Terminology databases that allow us to standardize terminology and create versatile industry, company or project-specific dictionaries.
Traditional Chinese A traditional writing style for Chinese that is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and the United States.
Transcreation The process of developing new content and adapting a message from one language to another instead of using only translation.
Translation Memory In it’s basic form, translation memory is a full text database where translations are recorded. Any future material that uses similar or identical text can borrow from the database. This “leveraging” of text can be beneficial not only by increasing consistency, but by reducing translation time and cost. Basically, translation memory records segment pairs (usually a sentence). The source language segment is combined together with a target language segment. If an identical (or similar) source language segment comes up in another translation later, the translation memory program will find the previously translated segment and suggest it as the basis for the new translation. The suggestion may be either approved as it is, edited to match the current context or rejected entirely. Not only do these systems suggest “exact matches”, but also "fuzzy matches" that display similar segments that have been translated in the past.
Unicode Unicode is a standard coding that allows all characters (past and present) of all known languages to be used in computer applications. Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, program or language. In the past, the 8-bit ASCII standard only allowed for 256 different characters. The Unicode standard is not only compatible with ASCII, but this 16-bit format allows for the use of approximately 65,000 different characters. With the availability of Unicode-enabled applications such as Microsoft Office 2000, one can read and print all languages.
Voice-over Narration in a movie or broadcast that is not accompanied by an image of the speaker.