Translation Terminology

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Here is a collection of translation related terms with explanations. This terminology is not complete nor perfect. If you know a term which should be added to this list, please write a comment.

Automatic Quality Check is an advanced function which estimates how good an automatically produced machine translation is. Today Automatic Quality Check is integrated in Multilizer Translator Gadget.

Automatic translation is a translation which is produced by machine translator, usually a computer or Internet application. Also Automatically translated text and machine translation are commonly used as a synonym with automatic translation.

Crowdsourcing is a method to get translations. In this method a bunch of people, i.e. a crowd, translates together. As compared to outsourcing, translation crowdsourcing may employ ordinary people, customers, fans, community members etc. The translation is a product of cooperation of several participants. Crowdsourcing doesn’t necessarily require any monetary transactions while the crowd translates voluntarily. More

Internationalization (I18N) is commonly thought as the step before localization; in this step all culture and language dependent information is isolated from the software. Thus this step prepares the software for localization.

Localization (L10N) is translation with cultural twist. This means that localization is more than just replacing words from one language to another. It’s more like rewriting the core message and main idea with another language. It is important to remember that a proper localization takes into account also local legislation and regulations and other less linguistic factors, too. More

Localization Kit is a “package” or compound software and documentation that is sent to the translator. In optimal cases it contains all the information that is needed for software translation and localization testing.

Localization tool is software which eases and intensifies a localization process by automating several parts of the project. For example Multilizer localization tool is able to identify and extract the parts to be translated form the localization project. This way the translator can concentrate on translating the right thing and less time will be spent on avoiding mistake making in software encoding. More

Machine translation is basically the same as automatic translation. Machine translation is automatically produced by a machine (a computer or software) with the help of an existing translation dictionary. More

Machine translator is the tool or application that translates text automatically.

Outsourcing is the practise of buying translation from an independent translation service provider or from a translation service company.

Proofreading is the final step in translation work. Proofread is meant to be the last check that the translation is correct and ready to be published. It is recommend to use a native speaker in proofreading. More

Source language is the language of the original text.

Software localization is basically the same as translating software and other applications. In software localization only the visible text written in human languages is translated and the technical language, i.e. the encoding, is left untouched. Software localization can be done manually but there are also special tools available for more efficient and automated localization process. More

String is a piece of text which needs to be translated. This term is widely used especially in software localization.

Target language is the language to which the text is supposed to translate.

Translation quality is an important and a lot discussed topic on machine translation. While good quality is naturally the desired outcome, it should be noticed that translation quality can be divided into several parts: grammatical quality, cultural quality, situational quality etc. More

Translation memory (TM) is a collection of existing translations or translation rules. Nowadays advanced translation memories are like translation databases with efficient search methods. TM can be used to ensure translation coherence and quality, to enhance translation work and/or to shorten the time spent on translating. In addition one significant property of a translation memory is that it can be reused in other projects as well. A well collected and updated TM can be a real asset to the company.

Translation tool is nowadays usually software which helps in the translation work. Translation tool can include translation memories, machine translators, editors or other technical features. Some translation tools translates text automatically. Those tools can translate any piece of text or it can be specialized in translating specific file formats. For example Multilizer Translator Gadget is a desktop machine translator for quick translations of small pieces of text, and Multilizer PDF Translator is a machine translator for translating PDF files automatically.

If you are looking for more technology oriented translation terminology, check Multilizer Terminology.

2 thoughts on “Translation Terminology”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information, I would request if you could also write a bit about CAT tools as well eg : Trados, wordfast etc. these days theya are also very famous and in use for translators.


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