Every industry has its own specific language. Translators and interpreters are no exception.

This translation glossary offers you a selection of specific terms and generic industry terminology.

We hope you will find it useful!

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z
  • Aback to top

    A language
    The mother-tongue or language of habitual use of a translator or interpreter.

    accredited translator
    Translator who has received accreditation from a professional institute such as the Italian ITI or the American ATA. Accreditation – a requirement for membership – is usually issued on the basis of examination and experience.

    Association of Court and Police Interpreters (UK).

    active interpretation
    Generally into one’s native language or a language of which the interpreter has an equal command.

    Modifying a text to make it suitable for a different purpose, target readership, region or country. Regional adaptation is a part of localisation. In translation, the adaptation can be carried out, for example by the translator, an editor or a copywriter.

    In linguistics, combining short words or word elements into a single word in order to express compound ideas.

    Italian Translators and Interpreters Association.

    alignment, text alignment
    Text alignment is the process of organising different language versions of a text in order to be able to identify equivalent terms, phrases, or expressions.

    Ambiguity is a state whereby a word or sentence can be understood in different ways; the former because the word has more than one meaning or the latter because either the ambiguity of a word is not resolved by the context of the sentence or the structure of the sentence can be analysed in such a way as to convey more than one meaning. Ambiguity can only be resolved by understanding context. The word within its sentence, the sentence within the discourse.


    ASCII is the worldwide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the uppercase and lowercase Latin letters, numbers, punctuation and other symbols.

    American Translators Association.

    Association of Translation Companies (UK).

  • Bback to top

    B language
    A language that a translator or interpreter can speak, read and write almost as well as their native language ( or A language) and well enough to translate into as well as out of.

    back translation
    The process of translating a document that has already been translated into another language back to the original language – preferably by an independent translator.

    background information
    Information relating to the subject matter of the source text or the topic of discussion. Facilitates the translator’s or interpreter’s task by providing context, terminology, definitions.

    background text
    Text in the source or target language providing background information about the subject matter of the text to be translated.

    bidirectional text (bidi)
    A mixture of characters within a text where some are read from left to right and others from right to left. Bidirectional refers to an application which allows for this variance.

    Mobile digital simultaneous interpretation system, consisting of a microphone and headset for the interpreter and receiver headsets for listeners. Extremely manageable, the system can be used when the interpreter needs to move around in order to follow the speaker and participants, for example during a factory visit, or for short meetings with a limited number of people, but since this system does not allow any degree of soundproofing, it is only recommended when a fixed interpretation system with booths is impractical.

    Someone with communicative skills in two languages. The term is often reserved for someone with native or near-native proficiency in two languages. Bilingualism is one of several requisite abilities of an interpreter.

    Short line or paragraph that appears below a link, summarising the content of a web page about to be visited.

    booth, mobile booth
    Booth for simultaneous interpretation consisting of modular panels, to be installed only for the duration of the event. Mobile booths must be designed in full compliance with ISO 4043.

    BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

  • Cback to top

    C language
    For a simultaneous interpreter, the C language is a passive language, namely that from which they translate.

    The caption or subtitle that accompanies a photo in a book, newspaper or magazine, but also in brochures, leaflets or websites.

    carbon copy
    Literal translation which reproduces the structure of the source language in the target language.

    Computer Aided Language Learning.

    A form of education in which the student learns by executing special training programs on a computer.

    Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

    certified translation
    A translation that has been reviewed by a translator or translation company and considered an accurate and correct reflection of the source text. To have legal status, certification must be performed before a notary public.

    characterset or charset
    A defined set of characters used by a specific computer system where no coded representation is assumed. It is a mapping of characters from a writing system into a set of binary codes such as ANSI or Unicode.

    chef d’équipe
    In a team of simultaneous interpreters, this is the chief interpreter who liaises with the conference organiser and is in charge of coordinating the other interpreters, acting as spokesperson with speakers to request information and reference material, bringing attention to any difficulties encountered by colleagues and handling any unforeseen problems that arise during the translation service.

    chuchotage (whispered interpreting)
    Whispered simultaneous interpretation of spoken words into a language understood by the listener.

    Chartered Institute of Linguists (UK)

    computer-aided translation (CAT), computer-assisted ~, machine-aided or -assisted ~
    Translation with the aid of computer programs that contain a database in which all previously translated sentences are stored together with the corresponding source text. If, during translation, a sentence appears that is similar to or identical with a previously translated sentence, the program suggests the found target sentence as a possible translation. The translator then decides whether to accept, edit or reject the proposed sentence.

    CJKV Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

    CJKV Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.

    Cross-lingual Application.

    A system used to store and subsequently find and retrieve large amounts of data. CMSs were not originally designed to synchronize translation and localization of content, so most have been partnered with globalization management systems (GMS).

    combination, language combination
    The languages between which a translator or interpreter works.

    competence, specialised language competence
    Familiarity with the relevant subject matter and command of its special language conventions.

    competence, translating competence
    Ability to render text into the target language correctly in terms of language, subject matter and idiomatic style, having regard to the function of both the source text and the target text.

    computational linguistics
    The engineering of systems that process or analyse written or spoken natural language. It is concerned with the computational aspects of the human language. Its goal is to provide computers with the ability to produce and interpret human language.

    conference interpreter
    Interpreter with highly specialised skills who provides simultaneous or consecutive interpretation.

    consecutive interpretation
    Specialised oral translation of a speaker’s words, delivered when the speaker has finished speaking or during pauses left by the speaker for the translation. Compared to liaison interpreting, consecutive interpreting is more formal, with the interpreter taking notes to assist in the memorisation of long speeches, and is generally used for conventions and official events.

    controlled language
    Controlled language is language which has been designed to restrict the size of the vocabulary and/or the structure of language used, in order to make recognition and processing easier. This is an approach which is particularly valid in certain environments; typical uses of controlled language are in areas where precision of language and speed of response is critical such as the police and emergency services, aircraft pilots, air traffic control, etc. Nowadays, controlled language is also increasingly used in technical documentation, namely in the field of content management for producing industrial manuals.

    controlled vocabulary
    The standardisation of words which may be used to search an index, abstract or information database. There is usually a published listing of thesaurus of preferred terms identifying the system’s vocabulary.

    convention, text type convention
    Set of rules of grammar or terminology to be observed for the text in question.

    Adaptation of a text (in the case in point, a translation) aimed exclusively at marketing a product, idea or image. This is generally carried out post-translation by an advertising agency or copywriter.

    A corpus is a body of language, either text or speech, which has been collected and annotated for uses, such as: analysis of language to establish its characteristics, analysis of human behaviour (in terms of their use of language) in certain situations, training a system, usually to adapt its behaviour to particular linguistic circumstances, verifying empirically a theory concerning language, providing a test set for a language engineering technique or application to establish how well it works in practice. There are national corpora of hundreds of millions of words but there are also corpora which are constructed for particular purposes. For example, a corpus could comprise recordings of car drivers speaking to a simulation of a voice operated control system which recognises spoken commands. Such a corpus is then used to help establish the user requirements for a voice operated control system for the market.

    court interpreter
    Interpreter with special subject knowledge, providing interpretation during legal proceedings. Requirements regarding accreditation and certification for court interpreting vary from country to country.

    An external format that determines the layout of tagged file formats such as HTML.

  • Dback to top

    data mining
    Extraction of terms from a corpus of documents based on statistical and morpho-syntactic criteria, for the purpose of producing glossaries, dictionaries and databases.

    The delocalisation of a linguistic product stems from the fact that you are writing or translating a text into another language in relation to the spoken language in that particular country in which the editor or the translator of the text lives.

    desktop publishing (DTP)
    Desktop Publishing service provided in addition to translation which requires knowledge and use of specific programs.

    A mark or sign placed under, over or through a Latin script character which indicates a modification in the phonetic value of the character with which it is associated.

    A complex speech sound that begins with one vowel sound and gradually changes to another within the same syllable.

    The process of rewriting or reconstructing a sentence in order to rule out one of its possible meanings.

    A knowledge domain that a user is interested in or is communicating about.

    dominant language
    language of habitual use – The language in which a person habitually expresses himself.

    Document Type Definition states what tags and attributes are used to describe content in an SGML document, where each tag is allowed, and which tags can appear within other tags.

    A procedure whereby the original voice contained in an audiovisual product (advertisement, film, TV series, etc.) is replaced with that of a dubber.

  • Eback to top

    In the editorial field (editing consists of rewriting) the task of a skilled writer of a text intended to be published. Even the author of the text can lend a hand in correcting the final version. Multilingual editing designates all the translation operations necessary to produce a document in several languages.

    EN 15038
    European standard “Translation services – Service requirements” published in 2006. This was replaced in 2015 by the international standard UNI EN ISO 17100:2015 “Translation Service”.

    Extended UNIX Code -a multibyte encoding design used to encode Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese on UNIX systems.

  • Fback to top

    free text
    Data which is entered into a field without any formal or predefined structure other than the normal use of grammar and punctuation.

    free translation
    Translation in which more emphasis is given to the overall meaning of the text than to the exact wording (cf. literal translation).

    freelance translator
    Self-employed translator, who may undertake work for translation agencies, localisation companies and/or directly for end clients.

    File Transfer Protocol – a common way to move files between host computers and PCs.

    full match
    A source text segment which corresponds exactly (100%) with a previously stored sentence in a translation memory (TM) tool.

    full post-editing
    Post-editing, which is revision, of machine translation (see machine translation). It is performed by a translator who has in-depth knowledge of the source and target languages, as well as the subject matter. Full post-editing is applied when the translated document is for external distribution. The result is a translation of the same quality as human translation, only in some cases lower.

    fuzzy match (FM)
    Refers to the situation when a sentence or phrase in a translation memory (TM) is similar (but not a 100% match) to the sentence or phrase the translator is currently working on. The TM tool calculates the degree of similarity (or “fuzziness”) as a percentage figure.

  • Gback to top

    The geo-style of a language is made up of characteristics specific to a certain country (or geographical zone).

    Globalisation, Internationalisation, Localisation, Translation.

    A translation done entirely by software without any human interference.

    gist translation
    A less-then-perfect translation performed by machine or automatic translation.

    Producing a rough or outline translation of a text to provide an insight into the subject and overall content of the source text. Being less expensive and less time-consuming than a “proper” (or “custom”) translation, gisting can be used, for example, to determine whether a text contains useful information before a custom translation is commissioned. The term gisting is sometimes used in connection with machine translation, which is used by some translation providers for that purpose.

    Globalisation is the process of preparing software for use in any language and cultural environment either by designing it. It is synonymous with Internationalisation.

    This neologism comes from the words “global” and “local.” This new adjective combines the opposing signifiers of the two words.

    A short or long series of words related to a sector, a topic, a client company or a single project. In addition to guaranteeing consistent use of terminology within a translation, a glossary speeds up the translation task and becomes a highly useful reference and consultation tool for subsequent projects.

    Refers to the process used to identify and translate product-specific terminology. All available materials undergo a linguistic revision, then are compiled and translated to ensure consistency and fluency among different versions.

    The shape representation or pictograph of a character.

    Graphical User Interface.

  • Hback to top

    Japanese syllabic writing system, used along with katakana and kanji, in which each character corresponds to a complete syllable. It is derived from Chinese ideograms and is written in a cursive script. Hiragana is used above all for words of Japanese origin, particles, inflections of verbs and often Chinese origin words which cannot be written in the characters officially approved for general use.

    A word that can be interpreted in a number of different ways by a computer program.

    A word which has the same pronunciation as another, but different meaning, derivation and spelling.

    HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a markup language that uses tags to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists and links, and tells a web browser how to display text and images on a web page.

    the tendency to endlessly correct a text, taking advantage of its infinitely modifiable nature.

    Hypertext is a method commonly used for help files and in the World Wide Web whereby highlighted text is used to provide a link (rather like an index) to related text (often a more detailed explanation of the item highlighted).

  • Iback to top

    Abbreviation for Internationalisation. 18 indicates the number of letters between the I and the N. Internationalisation is the process of preparing or designing a product, in many cases software, for use in any language and cultural environment.

    Translators, graphic designers, or in-house writers.

    inbound text
    Text intended for internal use. Includes internal correspondence, memos, work instructions, etc.

    When two languages are used together often, lexical or syntactical interference frequently occurs. This phenomenon is brought about by the influence of one language on the other.

    An interlingua is an invented language which can be used as a common, formal representation into which source natural language may be translated and from which target natural language can be generated.

    internationalisation (GB), internationalization (US)
    Process of designing or redesigning a product (specifically one or more texts or software) to facilitate its translation / localisation and minimise any subsequent modifications and adaptations: this process concerns, in particular, ensuring cultural compliance with the product’s target country (essential in the case of a website translation) and character encoding in the case of software localisation. A synonym of internationalisation is globalisation. The latter, however, is seldom used nowadays in linguistic contexts due to its increasing use in a wider context.

    interpret, to
    To interpret is, generally, to attribute meaning to language.

    Provides oral (spoken) translation of a speaker’s words from one language into another.

    interpreting, interpretation
    Oral transposition of speech from a starting language into a destination language.

    Irish Translators’ Association.

  • Jback to top

    jour chômé or In between Days
    Any in-between days where interpreters are not required to work but cannot return home because of time constraints.

  • Kback to top

    The name of Japanese ideographic characters, each of them expressing a concept. Despite the existence of thousands of kanji characters, these alone do not suffice to write Japanese. Hiragana and katakana characters are also required to express grammatical inflections.

    Japanese syllabic writing system, used along with hiragana and kanji, in which each character corresponds to a complete syllable. It is derived from Chinese ideograms and has an angular script. This alphabet is used, for example, for the transcription of foreign words and proper nouns, as well as the scientific names of flora and fauna and neologisms.

    Often used as a measure of line or page length in defining the size of a translation job. Includes all visible characters as well as spaces and line breaks/paragraph marks.

    Knowledge management.

  • Lback to top

    Abbreviation for Localisation. 10 indicates the number of letters between the L and the N. To localise is to adapt a product (often software) to the local requirements in terms of language and culture (including legal practice and business conventions, for example).

    language check
    Linguistic control makes up the initial sequence of the quality procedure which includes two other processes: correction of identified faults and the validation of the final multilingual text. Linguistic control of multilingual texts is achieved by working within several parameters. Simple ortho-syntactical control can be used as easily as pertinence control (during writing), semantic accuracy (during translation), terminology control or idiomatic phrasing, geographical or social style controls, textual suitability in relation to the layout of the text, etc.

    language combination
    The languages between which a translator or interpreter works.

    language engineering
    Language engineering is the application of knowledge of language to the development of computer systems which can recognise, understand, interpret and generate human language in all its forms.

    language service provider (LSP)
    Provider of translation and other language-related services that may include typesetting, publishing, project management, internationalisation and language teaching.

    Positioning and proportionality of graphic elements, photographs, and text on a page.

    Translation legalisation is a supplementary process after authentication whereby, if a translation is to be used in a foreign country, the Law Court certifies the legal status of the public official (registrar) who has signed the authenticated document and also certifies that the signature itself is authentic.

    To group together all inflected forms of a word with the headword.

    A lexicon is a repository of words and knowledge about those words. This knowledge may include details of the grammatical structure of each word (morphology), the sound structure (phonology), its part of speech, and the meaning of the word in different textual contexts, e.g. depending on the word or punctuation mark before or after it. Lexicons may be ordered either alphabetically or semantically. A useful lexicon may have hundreds of thousands of entries. Lexicons are needed for every language of application.

    leverage / leveraging
    Refers to the amount of previously translated text from an earlier release that can be reused or recycled.

    The act of compiling dictionaries.

    liaison interpreter
    Interpreter who provides – usually consecutive – interpretation between two languages in both directions. May act as facilitator in negotiations, in situ technical training or undertake some PR activities.

    liaison interpreting
    Spoken translation between two languages in informal conversations between two or more people. Used, for example in business meetings, for phone calls, during site visits and social events.

    light post-editing
    Post-editing, which is revision, of machine translation (see machine translation) only for informational purposes. It is applied to texts for internal use, rarely for external publication. The meaning is more important than the grammar or style. The result is a translation of lower quality than human translation, which can contain spelling, grammar, terminology errors etc. but that is overall understandable.

    lingua franca
    A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.

    Someone who is proficient in several languages. A student or practitioner of the subject of linguistics ( the scientific study of languages and their structures).

    lip synchronisation
    Combining an audio and video recording so that the sound is perfectly synchronised with the action that produced it.

    Localisation Industry Standards Association.

    literal translation
    Translation that closely adheres to the wording and construction of the source text. A literal translation usually appears “stilted” and unnatural and is therefore to be avoided unless there is a specific reason for translating literally.

    Form of translation which consists of producing a very close version to the morphology and structure of the source language.

    literary translator
    Translator specialising in the translation of literature, such as fiction, biographies, poetry and essays.

    A word or phrase adopted from another language with little or no modification.

    Linguistic, cultural, technical and geographical conventions of a target audience.

    localisation (GB), localization (US)
    The process of adapting a product (in the context of translation usually software) to a specific locale, i.e. to the language, cultural norms, standards, laws and requirements of the target market.

    localise, to
    To localise is to adapt software to the local requirements in terms of language and culture (including legal practice and business conventions, for example).

    Localisation, Translation, Interpretation.

    LTR left-to-right writing
    Left-to-right writing direction.

  • Mback to top

    machine translation, MT
    Translation produced by a computer program or use of a translation program to translate text without human input in the actual translation process. The quality of machine-translated text, in terms of terminology, meaning and grammar, varies depending on the nature and complexity of the source text, but is never good enough for publication without extensive editing. Not to be confused with CAT (computer-aided translation)!

    machine translation post-editing
    see post-editing.

    manque à gagner
    Compensation for loss of earnings for the day before and/or after the working day during which other assignments cannot be accepted because of travel to and from the site of the event is such that takes up the entire day or a significant part of the day.

    Technical language or system used to discuss another language or system.

    Multilingual Vendor.

    A morpheme is the smallest meaningful element of language. It cannot be divided into smaller elements.

    The branch of grammar which studies the structure or forms of words.

    One’s native language. Often used as an indicator of a translator or interpreter’s ability to translate into a particular language. Because a person who has lived in another country for many years (perhaps from childhood) may be more fluent in their second language than they are in their first (i.e. their mother-tongue), the term “language of habitual use” or “dominant language” is often preferred.

    This definition applies to texts that are the result of various interventions, those coming from the author, the rewriter, the translator, the reviser the terminologist, the homogenizer, the coordinator, the linguist, the graphic designer, the project manager or the editor. The author of the final text is no longer an individual author-translator. The author of the final text is no longer an individual author-translator.

    Refers to software that supports more than one language simultaneously, thereby allowing the end user to select multiple languages and formats. This software allows data containing multiple languages to be entered, processed, presented and transmitted multinationally.

    Multilingual Workflow System (MWS)
    A computer program which creates an environment that supports and orchestrates a range of activities that facilitate the development of multilingual products. An MWS should contain a GMS for managing multilingual content, along with TM and MT.

    Name given to linguistic productions, which have been edited on two or more supports (audio, video, in print).

    Terminology management program. Developed by Trados, now published by SDL International. A component of the Trados translation memory program, but also available as a separate product.

  • Nback to top

    native speaker
    A person with native-speaker competence in a particular language.

    Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    A main focus of computational linguistics, the aim of NLP is to devise techniques to automatically analyze large quantities of spoken (transcribed) or written text in ways that parallel what happens when humans perform this task.

    New word or term, but also a new meaning associated with an existing word, which has recently entered the lexicon of a language.

  • Oback to top

    Optical Character Recognition. OCR is the translation of optically scanned bitmaps of printed or written text characters into character codes such as ASCII. Most OCR systems use a combination of hardware and software to recognise characters.

    Onomastics is the scientific study of proper names.

    outsource, to
    To hire a third-party provider to perform tasks or services often performed in-house.

  • Pback to top

    page, standard page
    An imaginary page that contains a pre-established number of lines and keystrokes and is used to measure the size of a text to translate or already translated. The standard page length is generally in the region of 1500 to 1800 keystrokes. The use of standard pages as units of measurement for translations is becoming less common, being replaced by the standard line or by the word.

    To parse is to analyse language in order to establish its structure and relationships at the levels of syntax and/or semantics.

    A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound which can be identified from an acoustic flow of speech and which is semantically distinct.

    The part of linguistics that deals with systems and sounds, especially in a particular language.

    In a simultaneous interpretation service, the pivot is the interpreter who translates not only for the audience, but also for fellow-interpreters who are unfamiliar with the speaker’s language, and who must therefore interpret from the pivot interpreter’s translation. The role of the pivot interpreter is therefore even more critical than that of a normal interpreter, as the quality of the other interpreters’ work depends on the pivot. This kind of dual translation uses the relay technique.

    Translation revision that is generally carried out without close comparison with the original, in order to adapt the text to meet specific requirements regarding language, terminology and style. Post-editing is not to be confused with revision: it comes after revision and is only carried out when specifically requested by the client. In many cases, the client himself carries out post-editing in order to adapt the translation to his own specific objectives.
    Post-editing can also refer to machine translation. In this case, we talk about either light or full post-editing. See full post-editing and light-post editing.

    All the conceptual, graphic, and technical operations necessary for the preparation of a document for printing and postprocessing.

    Involves the preparation of files for translation where the existing files already contain related segments of previously translated data. Only 100% matches are replaced, with the result being a set of files containing both source and target language terminology.

    project management
    It is the systematic planning, organizing and controlling of allocated resources to accomplish project cost, time and performance objectives. In the translation industry, the project manager assumes overall responsibility for the job and acts as a reference person for the customer.

    Strictly, checking a proof before printing to ensure that no mistakes have been made in typesetting. The term is often used by translators in the sense of revising. When typesetting a translated text, it is advisable to let the translator who performed the translation proofread the typeset document, especially when the text is written in a language foreign to the typesetter.

    Similar to a test run which seeks to copy the translation process rather than actually produce a translation. A text string is taken and put through a translation-like process which alters it and produces a new string. The text string is frequently changed as a result of this process, so pseudo-translation is done to illustrate the potential problems that may occur when the translation is actually done.

    All the activities linked to the publication of publicity material, carried out by either a company or a publishing house using different media (paper, CD, DVD, website, etc.). Publishing therefore includes mastering (audiovisual recording used for duplicating CDs and DVDs), pre-press (illustration and layout with desktop publishing through to plate manufacture) plus editing, namely all writing and sound recording operations. The term ‘publishing’ is often intended as synonymous with ‘editing’, although in actual fact the latter has a narrower frame of meaning.

  • Qback to top

    No items found.

  • Rback to top

    Set of properties that are characteristic of a particular type of linguistic text speech.

    During a simultaneous interpretation service, the relay technique allows interpreters who are unfamiliar with the speaker’s language to connect to the booth of a colleague (pivot) who translates from that particular language, so they can in turn interpret from the pivot interpreter’s translation. This technique is used for less common languages and usually for meetings of short duration.

    To examine a target text for its suitability for the agreed purpose and respect for the conventions of the domain to which it belongs and recommend correct measures. Specialist review is carried out by an individual with specialist sector knowledge but not necessarily linguistic expertise.

    Person who reviews a technical text.

    revise, to
    To examine a translation for its suitability for the agreed purpose, compare source and target texts and recommend corrective measures.

    Person who revises a translation.

    In translation, the process of proofreading, checking and correcting which a translator carries out on a text generally translated by someone else. The aim of revision is to find and correct any errors, inconsistencies, grammar or punctuation mistakes and, in the case of translation, compliance issues with the source text. Generally speaking, the number of revisions is proportional to customer expectations in terms of the quality of the translation: a translation intended for publication might, for example, be reread by the translator and by two external revisers (e.g. the author, an expert on the subject, another translator, an editor), while the translation of a text intended for internal use only might not require revision.

    Rewriting of a text by a copywriter who writes according to the rules of the craft.

    RTO right-to-left writing
    Typical right-to-left writing direction of ARABIC and HEBREW script.


  • Sback to top

    SAE J2450
    It is a translation quality metric developed by a subcommittee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for use in the automotive industry.

    Part of the structure of language, along with phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics, which involves understanding the meaning of words, sentences and texts.

    shallow parser
    A shallow parser is computer software which parses language to a point where a rudimentary level of grammatical structure and meaning can be achieved; this is often used in order to identify passages of text which can then be analysed in further depth to fulfil the particular objective.

    simplified Chinese (SC)
    A Chinese character set used in mainland China and Singapore, modified to be written with fewer strokes per character (about 8,000) in comparison to the traditional variant.

    simultaneous interpretation
    Real-time translation of speaker’s words into another language while the speaker is speaking.

    Single Language Vendor.

    software localisation(GB), software localization (US)
    Adapting software to meet the linguistic, cultural, ergonomic and technical needs of a target group from a specific geographic region.

    source language
    Language in which the text to be translated is written.

    source text
    The text to be translated.

    spell checker
    A spell checker is a software which checks the spelling of words, usually embedded in another program such as a word processor, desktop publishing package, spreadsheet, presentation package, etc.

    standard line
    Standard unit of measurement used to evaluate the size of a text, the time required for translation and the cost. Lines are measured in keystrokes and line length can vary from one country to another. In Italy there are two measurements of standard line: 60 or 55 keystrokes.

    sworn translation
    A sworn translation is when a translator certifies, by swearing an oath before a court registrar, that the translation is an accurate rendering of the original. This certification has full validity throughout Italy.

    sworn translator
    In Italy, the definition of a sworn translator is rather vague, as given that there is no official register of translators, it is sufficient that a translator be registered in the Court Register of Technical Consultants. However, translators are not required to pass any exam or have any specific qualifications in order to register.

    style guide
    Style guide containing indications for writing texts, intended for internal use by newspaper editorial teams and translation companies, among others, with a view to ensuring reliable stylistic consistency. Style guides include indications on the use of inverted commas, punctuation, upper and lower case, definitions of positions within a company etc.

    A table of syllables or more specifically a set of the syllabic symbols/characters in which each character represents a syllable, used in certain languages such as Japanese.

  • Tback to top

    An operation carried out using specific computer operations that creates tags, which are like labels, to delineate strings of text or attribute specific information to the text that is subsequently used for automatic processing (e.g. to export and reimport texts into graphic grids).

    target audience
    Used mostly in connection with simultaneous interpreting, the group of people that an interpreter addresses.

    target language
    Language into which a text is to be translated.

    target readership
    The group of people for which a text is translated. It is important to specify the target readership when commissioning a translation so that the translator can choose an appropriate style and vocabulary.

    target text
    The translation, i.e. the result of the translation process.

    Technical language, jargon used in a limited professional context or within a company.

    term-extraction software
    Software used to identify the industry- or client-specific terms in the text for translation.

    Set of terms and expressions typical of a given field.

    terminology extraction (TE)
    The creation of a corpus of monolingual or multilingual subject-specific terminology by extracting individual terms and phrases from a body of text.

    terminology extraction tool (TET)
    A computer program that provides functions to assist with or automate the extraction of terminology from a body of text.

    Translation Environment Tool – a computer program, or a suite of programs, that provides functions to aid human translators in their translation tasks. Includes Translation memory, CAT, localisation and terminology management tools.

    Terminology Management System. A computer tool that manages the terminology specific to a sector or company, in one or more languages. It is often used in combination with computer-aided translation (CAT) and content management system (CMS) programs.

    Translation memory exchange format, designed to allow easier exchange of translation memory data between tools and/or translation vendors with little or no loss of critical data during the process. Supported by the latest versions of most leading translation memory programs.

    traditional Chinese (TC)
    A Chinese character set used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and to a lesser extent in the People’s Republic of China, where the simplified version is more commonly used. Traditional Chinese preserves close ties with the ancient Chinese writing system and adopts a far higher number of characters compared to the simplified version.

    Former publishers of translation memory program of the same name. Now part of the SDL Trados CAT suite.

    translate, to
    To translate is to transform a text from one language to another in a way which preserves the original meaning.

    translation memory (TM)
    It’s a database that stores translated sentences (translation units or segments) with their respective source segments in a database. The program scans the database for a previous source segment that matches the new segment exactly or approximately and, if found, suggests the corresponding target segment as a possible translation.

    Translation Service Provider (TSP)
    Person or organisation supplying translation services.

    The act of rendering written text from one language into another.

    Translation Memory System
    A program used to store specific sector glossaries as well as multilingual texts derived from previous translations. The resulting database forms the translation memory, which is subsequently used in computer-aided translation (CAT).

    Professional who renders a written text from one or more languages into another language, usually into his/her language of habitual use.

    To write or print a letter or word using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet or language. A systematic way to convert characters in one alphabet or phonetic sounds into another alphabet.

    Truncating text lines in the display means leaving out any text on a line that does not fit within the right margin of the window displaying it. Also, in database searching, the addition of a symbol at the end of a word or word stem so the computer will look for all variants of the word.

    Text-to-speech. A voice synthesis system that converts a text into speech.

    Usually a typing mistake (missing or wrong letter) missed during the revision stage.

  • Uback to top

    Character encoding standard which, unlike ASCII, uses not 8 but 16 bit character encoding, making possible the representation of virtually all existing character sets (e.g. Latin, Cyrillic, Japanese, Chinese). Viene impiegato nei più recenti linguaggi di programmazione quali XML, Java, JavaScript e all’interno di varie applicazioni software. The use of Unicode simplifies multiple language document and program creation.

    use, intended use
    Indicates the purpose of a text: commercial correspondence, legal documents, industrial manuals, Web, printed advertising, audio, video etc. It is important, when commissioning a translation, to specify the intended use so that the translator can choose the appropriate terminology and style.

  • Vback to top

    voice-over, voiceover
    Commentary in, e.g., a film, television programme, video, or commercial spoken by an unseen narrator.

  • Wback to top

    whispered interpreting (chuchotage)
    Whispered simultaneous interpretation of spoken words into a language understood by the listener.

    Interpreting service where the interpreter sits close to the listener and whispers the translation without technical aids.

    word count
    Method of evaluating the size of a translated text or one to be translated, as an alternative to a line count or page/standard page count. The number of words in the original text can differ substantially from the number of words in the translated text, depending on the language.

    word processor
    Program used to compose, format and edit a text.

    working language
    Common language for everyday communication used by members of an organisation or international company who come from differing linguistic backgrounds.

    Creation of a text often intended for publication on the Internet with clear commercial purposes.

    WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get )
    This acronym is used to describe a system in which content displayed during editing appears very similar to the final output, which might be a printed document, web page, slide presentation etc.

  • Xback to top

    XML Localization Interchange File Format. It was specifically designed to support the localization of data and has features for updating strings, revision control, marking different phases of the localization process, word count calculations, the provision of alternative or suggested language translations, among others. XLIFF is an open standard.

    A programming language/specification, is a pared-down version of SGML, an international standard for the publication and delivery of electronic information, designed especially for web documents.

  • Zback to top

    zero error
    In spite of the fact that absolute perfection does not exist, “zero error”, even in linguistic services, is the highest degree of excellence.