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What is it?

A curated set of vocabulary selected to communicate clearly and simply for a specific purpose. Controlled language is often used when writing for machine translation or for global audiences.

Why is it important?

Controlled language is a critical feature of writing for localization. It is an umbrella term that encompasses several initiatives, including Plain Language, Simplified Technical English, and Caterpillar Fundamental English, among others. Effective controlled language initiatives choose the simplest terms needed to convey meaning, while also restricting grammar, syntax, and verb forms.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Controlled Language"

What is it?

A repository that contains translated source and target language pairs.

Why is it important?

Reduces translation time and cost by reusing translated content from the repository. Translation memories are part of a client company’s intellectual property.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Translation Memory (TM)"

What is it?

Phrase, sentence, paragraph, or sentence-like piece of text that represents a cognitive unit and is used when searching for a match in a translation memory (TM) database.

Why is it important?

Discrete segments of text show up repeatedly across various pieces of text. Matching source segments in the TM for which previously approved translations exist increases efficiency in the translation process by providing the relevant translation to the translator.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Segment"

What is it?

A conventional set of symbols that visually represent sounds and ideas.

Why is it important?

Scripts, or writing systems, are the framework for conveying meaning graphically, and all written words use some form of script. These systems are classified into three types: logographic, syllabic, and segmental[Daniels 1996][Nakanishi 1989]. Encoding standards such as ISO/IEC 10646, and Unicode, have been developed as a way of representing most, (but certainly not all), scripts in common use today[Unicode]. Of the 7,000+ languages spoken today, roughly a third are considered endangered. Many of these either don’t have scripts or are not supported.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Script"

What is it?

The process whereby a human translator edits machine-translated output to achieve an acceptable level of quality in the final product.

Why is it important?

Machine translation (MT) is frequently used in the translation industry because of its gains in speed and scale. Yet, there is often a loss in quality. Human post-editing improves MT output, bringing the quality up to acceptable levels.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Post-editing"

What is it?

Technical activities required to support the process of translation, including converting files to a translatable format, re-converting them to their original formats after translation, and ensuring technical validity of translated files.

Why is it important?

Localization engineering is a key component of the localization process and often included as a cost item in estimates, but it is frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Localization Engineering"

What is it?

The instance when a source segment that is submitted to translation is partially recognized as being similar to a source segment that has already been translated and exists in the translation memory (TM).

Why is it important?

Fuzzy match is important for translation costs and efficiency. As a TM builds up a library of content, it will recognize more fuzzy matches, leading to reduced costs and increased efficiency.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Fuzzy Match"

What is it?

The instance when a source segment that is submitted to translation is word-for-word the same as a source segment that has already been translated and exists in the translation memory (TM).

Why is it important?

Exact matches save translation expenses. Once a segment has been translated, an exact match reduces the cost of processing that same segment again. In-context exact matches reduce costs even more.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Exact match"

What is it?

The production of professional quality, print-ready materials using specialized software to design the layouts and templates. It has replaced manual typesetting and paste up as a discipline, and has evolved beyond desktop computers to include laptops, mobile devices, and the cloud.

Why is it important?

DTP software is used to produce most printed documentation in circulation. It can be 50% of the cost of a localization project, so if the source files are poorly internationalized, this task can break a company’s localization budget[Esselink, 2000]. Properly implemented XML or other structure can significantly reduce DTP costs, but you still need skilled designers to create the output templates.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Desktop Publishing (DTP)"

What is it?

A translation process in which professional human translators use software programs, such as translation memory or terminology management tools, that support and facilitate productivity and accurate, consistent translations.

Why is it important?

CAT tools provide workflow management and resource allocation and help human translators build and maintain translation memories. When implemented correctly, CAT tools significantly improve efficiency, quality, and consistency, which helps to reduce translation costs.

...continue reading "Term of the Week: Computer-aided translation (CAT)"