Space is the limit

Expand your business globally

Glossary of industry terms


Glossary of translation industry termsBack-Translation means the translation of previously translated content back into the original (source) language. This method is widely used to ensure the most rigorous levels of quality and accuracy for the most demanding of clients.
Back-translation of MT is also called a round-trip translation.

Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools

A computer translation tool that supports and facilitates the translation process. These tools combine glossaries, translation memories, or machine translation, and help to keep consistent terminology and save money on already-translated sections of text. CAT tools are sometimes also called machine assisted translation tools, but their output is not a machine translation.

Desktop Publishing (DTP)

The process of creating high-quality graphic documents for printing or other marketing activities, such as leaflets, posters, magazines, books, advertising billboards, etc.

Freelance Translator or Freelancer

An independent self-employed translator, proofreader, editor or other language specialist who offers their services on a freelance basis. Freelancers are allowed to work only after they have successfully passed a test procedure and have signed SLA and NDA documents.
Freelance linguists have the advantage of being located anywhere in the world.

Glossary or Vocabulary

A glossary or vocabulary is a list of specialised translation terms in a particular domain of knowledge with a definition for each term. A glossary is used to ensure the consistency of terms across all documents.

Localisation (Localization)

Localisation or localization is the process of adapting content to a specific country, region, nation, culture or subject field, and adding locale-specific references such as currency.
Language localisation differs from translation activity because it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to correctly adapt the product to local needs.

Language quality assurance (LQA)

An assessment based on an extracted sample of the translation that is carried out at any stage of the translation process. Accuracy, language, grammar, and terminology are also examined.  

Language Service Provider (LSP)

A service provider that can guarantee that the content of a document is fully adapted to the terms of reference for a specific country or region. These providers work together only with local or native target language specialists.

Machine translation (MT)

Automated translation by computer software. This software is generated through statistical modelling (statistical machine translation or SMT), translation rules (rule-based machine translation or RBMT), or a combination of both. Machine translation is not perfect and always needs at least MT post-editing.
Automated translation helps you to provide some insight into the content of the target language but is not recommended for use with legal, marketing, medical or similar texts.

Multi-language vendor (MLV)

A service provider that offers different language services which involve many source or target languages.

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

Also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA), or secrecy agreement, this is a legal contract between the LSP or freelancer and the service recipient. This agreement outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to it by third parties.

Pivot language

An intermediate language through which the translation will be carried out, such as Finnish to English to Korean. This service is used only for rare language pairs.

Service-level agreement (SLA)

A legal service contract that shows information such as delivery time, volumes, turnaround time, pricing, delivery methods, quality assurance and other technical specifications.

Single-language vendor (SLV)

A language service provider that works only in one particular language combination.

Source language

The original language from which the project will progress.

Style guide

Also called a style manual, this is a document with instructions for the translator, editor or proofreader. This document includes set of standards for writing, tone of voice, and design of document.

Target language

The language into which your source language text is translated.

Translation memory (TM)

A database that stores already-translated source and target words, sentences or paragraphs, which are called segments. This memory is then used to reduce costs for future translations, speed up the translation process, and follow a consequent terminology.
Translation memories are often integrated into computer-aided translation (CAT) tools.

Turnaround time (TAT)

Total time that is needed to deliver the project.

LSO – Linguistic sign-off

The final linguistic assessment that is carried out at the end of the localisation project once the localised environment (whether it be software, a website, or material for printing and publishing) has been generated.