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The Language of Translation

GlobaLexicon The Language of Translation

Welcome to GlobaLexicon’s new series!

If you are not a translator but have had to request translations for your company or perhaps have some translator friends, you might have heard mention of CATS, FIGS, TMs, MT and other jargon – no, sadly, we do not enlist the help of friendly felines or eat delicious fruits when we translate. Below you will find a list of some useful terminology that will help you navigate through the world of translation.

As this will be an ongoing series, please feel free to check back frequently for new terminology!

A

Adaptation

Making specific changes to a text in a target language  so that it is culturally appropriate for a different country where the same target language is spoken. Example: adapting a translation for Canadian English from American English. See also Localisation 

B

Back-translation

A further quality step that can be requested after translation. This consists of translating a translation back into the source language again and is usually accompanied by a Reconciliation  step, where the original source text and the back-translated target text are compared to check for potential mismatches and mistranslations.

C

CAT tools

Acronym for Computer Assisted Translation tools, but no, this does not mean we use machine translation ! CAT tools are software that translators use to facilitate the process by placing source and target text side by side, whilst creating Translation Memories  and Termbases .

D

DTP

Acronym for Desktop Publishing. In translation, this means the process of using OCR tools  or other tools to convert non-editable text (PDFs, digital scans, etc) into editable (live) files, which can then be edited and formatted in order to be processed by CAT tools.

Can also be used to refer to the process of formatting the target text so that it matches the source formatting.

E

Editing

One of the translation process steps by which a proofreader  makes changes to the text to improve fluency and readability so, that it doesn’t sound like a translation.

F

FIGS

G

H

I

Interpreting

J

K

L

Localisation

M

MT

N

O

OCR

Overlay

P

PM or Project Manager

Proofreading

Q

QA

R

Reconciliation

S

SL or Source Language

T

TB

TM

TL or Target Language

U

V

W

X

XML

Y

Z

We look forward to updating this blog over the coming months!

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