Speaking fluently with your translation service provider? Every industry has its own specialized jargon and the translation business is no exception. Here is a list of ten of the industry’s most commonly used terms.
Exact Match: A translation memory match where the source text of to be translated is character-for-character exactly the same as the source text of the saved translation. Despite being an exact match, the sentence must be reviewed by an editor to make sure that the sentence is correct in the new context (such as gender or case).
Fuzzy Match: A translation memory match where the source text of to be translated is almost the same as the source text of the saved translation. The difference can be as simple as one word or gender difference to a sentence that the translation memory software interprets as reasonably close to a previous translation. Used as a starting point for the translator and provides cost savings to the customer.
Glossary: A collection of terms prepared before a translation project begins containing preferred translations for terms that are highly technical, have multiple potential translations or meanings, are vague or open to mistranslation. Glossaries also usually include terms that are non-translatable, such as trademarked product names or company names, or require marketing input (e.g. tag lines, product names, etc.), to indicate exactly how these items must appear in the translation. Glossary matches are typically applied automatically by translation tools, instead of relying upon translator recollection to provide consistency.
Localization (L10N): Process of adapting content or a product for a locale or market. Translation is a step in the L10N process, which may include modifying design or layout, adapting formats such as dates and phone numbers, or addressing legal/local requirements.
Mother Tongue: A linguist’s first language, which is usually the primary language of their home country and/or parents. With very rare exceptions, professional translators always work from another language to their mother tongue only.
Source: The content and language of the materials to be translated.
Style Guide: A document that defines the voice, tone, direction, and overall style for the materials in a translation project. Very similar to a style guide used by a marketing department, but extended into specific language pairs. For example, the company tone may be casual, but their target market in Egypt may prefer a more formal tone.
Target: The content and language that the materials will be translated into.
Translation Memory (TM): Pairs of previously human translated text segments stored in a database. A segment is ordinarily, but not always, a sentence.
Word Count: The actual number of words in the source text to be translated. The word count forms the basis to price translation work. This is distinct from words that should not be translated, and may be further divided into words that are from repetitive sentences or words from sentences matched from a translation memory.
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