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Bidirectional texts

This is a text that features elements that are read from left to right and from right to left. A majority of languages in the world are read from left to right. However, for certain languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, the text runs from right to left.

CAT Tool

CAT stands for computer assisted translation. This doesn't mean that the translation is done automatically by a machine. A CAT tool helps a translator to do their job and improves efficiency and accuracy. It is particularly helpful in saving time and reducing costs for translations that have words and segments that are repeated in the source text.

Content localization and global content strategy

Content localization involves adapting content for local consumption. A global content strategy defines how this adaptation will take place.


Copywriting refers to the writing of text content for a variety of print and online publications. While the copy that copywriters create is often used in advertising or marketing, it also has the goal of informing its readers. Copywriting is essential for magazines, advertisements, direct mail, television and radio scripts, and online content such as blog posts and articles.

Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing refers to skilfully preparing the layout of text and graphic elements of a printed document.

E-commerce website localization

E-commerce website localization needs to take into account not only language and culture but measurement differences, currencies, and shopping practices.

Freelance vs. In-house translators

In-house translators work directly as employees of a language service provider (LSP). Freelancers work as external contractors to perform translations for the LSP.

Global branding

Global branding refers to the ways that a brand conveys its image worldwide. Elements of successful global brands include a logo that is instantly recognizable around the globe and a brand identity that is strong and positive.

Interpreting: simultaneous/consecutive/liaison

Interpreting refers to the conveying of spoken words in another language such as English to Spanish, or English to American Sign Language. Simultaneous interpreting takes place in real time using headphones, a microphone and often an interpretation booth. Consecutive interpretation is a process where the speaker pauses during the speech and then the interpreter speaks. Liaison interpreting involves conveying what was said to one or more people. It is usually done after a short speech and can be done using the consecutive method or as whispered translation.

Linguistic quality/language quality assurance

Language quality assurance refers to the process of verifying and auditing translations after the work is completed by the translator.

Localization performance indicators

The success of localization projects and translations can be measured by key performance indicators such as: translation quality, delivery time and project quality. The indicators to be used should be determined in the project set up phase.

Localization ROI

This refers to the calculation of the return on investment (ROI) of a localization project.

Localization: websites, software, products

This is the adaptation of content (print, online, video, etc.) to a specific language and culture for local consumption.

Machine Translation/automatic translation/MT

Machine translation has made advances over the course of the past few years, but cannot replace the human translator. Machine translation generally uses two possible processes. One machine translation method is called rules based machine translation and it employs grammar and language rules along with dictionaries. The other method is called statistical translation and it uses lots of data from documents written in both the source and target language.

Multilingual SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Keywords are used in a website in order to create higher search results for that website. In the case of websites in multiple languages, care must be taken so that results are generated for the different language versions of the site.

Multilingual terminology glossary/termbase

A terminology glossary, (also known as a termbase), contains short segments of translated text, words, short phrases, etc. that have been verified by the translator. Sometimes a client will supply their own termbase for a translation project in order to ensure quality and consistency among different translators working on their projects.

Post Editing

This is an editing and clean up process that uses high-quality machine translation technology to produce a draft translation. Following this, a translator skilled in post-editing will verify the translation and make manual translation changes and edits with the help of terminology glossaries and translation memories.

Real-time voice translation

Certain software programs have started to incorporate this technological innovation. It consists of using both voice recognition and machine translation to provide a translation and a written transcript of speech. Software programs that have started to offer this include Google Translate and Microsoft's Skype.

Source text/target text

The source is the text that the translator is translating (also source is used to refer to the language of this content). The target text is the document that the translator creates from the source text. Target is also used to describe the language of the translated text.

Technical translation

Technical documents and content include everything written to communicate information about science, engineering, life sciences, and pharmaceutical products and research. A technical translation should be performed by a translator who specializes in these types of documents.

Transcreation/marketing translation

Marketing translations require a great deal of creative skill. A successful marketing translation seeks to be faithful to the original text but to go beyond that to create a text that is adapted to the target language and culture.


A transcript is a written record of the audio content of a film or video. Subtitling is used to reach audiences who do not speak the language of the film. Short textual descriptions of the dialogue are added to the lower part of the screen. The actors' voices and songs are kept in their original languages. In the case of dubbing, subtitles are not created, instead, voice actors are chosen to read a translated film script. This script is then synced to the action on the screen.

Translation Memory

A translation memory includes multilingual segments of text that a translator or team of translators have previously translated. While this text must be verified for each new translation, it helps to save time, increase efficiency and accuracy, and also helps to ensure the consistency of different documents.

Translation process

The translation process includes many steps. First, the project should be defined in terms of the source language and the language to be translated into. Other steps include: hiring an appropriate translator for the project, setting deadlines and pricing, determining what format the translation will be delivered in, and calculating word count (volume) of the translation. In order to ensure a high-quality translation, steps like translation and proofing, bilingual re-reading/proofing and monolingual re-reading/proofing should also be carried out.

Translation style guide

Style guidelines help to ensure that consistency is maintained in translations. They are used to communicate to translators the ways that certain recurring terms must be translated and ways that documents should be formatted. In a larger sense, they convey any special instructions from the client that translators need to be aware of.

Translation Technology

Translators use many tools to improve the accuracy, efficiency and consistency of their translations. These tools include CAT (computer assisted translation), terminology glossaries and translation memories, and terminology management and QA software.

Translation/localization Project Management

Project managers are the liaisons between the client, the sales department, translators, desktop publishers and everyone involved in producing a translation or localization project. Project managers set the schedules, work out any issues with the project, ensure that the project stays on time, on budget, and that the final product is of high quality and satisfies the client.

Video localization

This is the process of adapting video content for the global market so that the meaning of the video content is understood in places where people speak different languages.