Translation Terminology – Deciphering the Acronyms

Like any profession or field, translation has a vocabulary all of its own. In addition to the hundreds of terms that are specific to the translation field, there are many acronyms that you may run into during your translation process.

In order to make your journey less frustrating and more understandable, the following alphabetical primer provides information on the most common acronyms:

CAT    Computer-Assisted Translation; a translation process where a human translator uses computer software to aid in the translation

CMS    Content Management System; software that stores, organizes, maintains, and retrieves data.

DNT    Do Not Translate; a list of words and phrases which should not be translated such as names, brands, and trademarks

DTP    DeskTop Publishing;   using specialized software such as Photoshop to combine text and images. Many graphs, tables, charts, and so forth require the use of DTP during translation.

FIGS   French, Italian, German and Spanish.

GILT   Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation; the process of preparing and translating a document for use in the global and local markets. Globalization includes an integration of common ideas, Internationalization involves the removal of specific regional, local, or cultural ideas so the text can be readily adapted to local environments, and Localization involves the adaptation of a document for a specific location so it reads as if it were designed just for that language and culture. Localization addresses linguistic, physical, business and cultural, and technical issues.

G11N  Globalization; The number 11 represents the number of characters between the G and N (see GILT)

I18N    Internationalization; the number of letters between the first I and last N in internationalization (see GILT)

L10N   Localization; The number 1 represents the number of characters between the L and N (see GILT)

LSP     Language Service Provider; the company providing your translation services. Includes the translators, editors, project managers, and so forth.

MT      Machine Translation; the process of a source text document being translated into a target language by computer software

PEMT Post-Edited Machine Translation; Machine translation of a document followed-up with a human edit. PEMT is more accurate than a standalone MT but is generally not as detailed as CAT or a standard human translation.

PM      Project Manager; the person who coordinates, manages, and oversees a translation project.

PPW    Price Per Word; many translation projects are quoted at a price per word translated.

QA      Quality Assurance; the process by which translation quality is verified in order to minimize errors and irregularities
QI        Quality Improvement; improvement process designed to increase the quality of translation including the efficiency and effectiveness of the translation process.
RBMT Rules-Based Machine Translation; a linguistic system of machine translation where the primary information about the source and target languages comes from dictionaries and grammar rules. This translation process takes input sentences and converts them to output sentences using the standard rules of semantics and syntax.

SMT     Statistical Machine Translation; In contrast to an RBMT translation model that is based off of rules and words, an SMT model bases translations on statistical models of bilingual word strings. The resulting translation is more fluent and less stilted due to the many parallel phrases which more accurately represent concepts.

TB       TermBase; a database of terminology usually involving source and target language data, including grammar, definition, and context.

TBX    TermBase eXchange; The industry standard for exchanging terminology data.
TEP     Translation, Edit, Proofread; The translation process from start to finish involving not only the translation of data but also the editing and proofreading components.

TM      Translation Memory; database of source language sentence strings, phrases, and other linguistic segments matched with their target language equivalents. TM is generally used in conjunction with CAT tools.

TMX   Translation Memory eXchange. Translation Memory eXchange; the standard for the sharing of translation memories between translation suppliers.

Hopefully, armed with this new understanding of some of the most common translation acronyms, you will be able to communicate more efficiently and effectively with your LSP. You may have even discovered some translation options that you did not previously know were available to you.

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