Shakti Enterprise Translation Services – Knowledge Center

Language Translation – Knowledge Center

Terminology in Translation Studies

Translation studies are the study and analysis of the theory, description and implementation of the translation localization and interpretation process.

A translation study tells translators how to translate. Translation Studies provide you with the skills required in working as a specialist in the field of translation.

These skills include the mastery of two languages and the ability to work cross-culturally. From a professional point of view the goal of studying Translation Studies is for the students to acquiring the theoretical and practical competences required in professional translation.

Terminology is special words or expressions used in relation to a particular subject or activity. There are many terminologies used in the translation profession.

Project Manager who understands the process of translation would use such terms which are unique to the industry and well understood by translators.

Some of the terminologies that are commonly used in translation are

Sr.No Terminology Meaning


Source Language (SL) The source language is the language being translated from.


Target Language (TL) The target language is the language being translated to.


Back-translation The translation of previously translated content back into the original (source) language.


Machine Translation (MT) Use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another.


Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) tools Computer software helps to make the translation process more efficient. These tools combine glossaries, translation memories and help to keep consistent terminology and save money on already-translated sections of text.


Desktop Publishing (DTP) The act of formatting the layout of pages on publication software in order to have documents ready for print.


Glossary A list of specialized 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) (L10N) Localisation or localization is the process of adapting content to a specific country, region, nation, culture or subject field, and adding locale-specific references.


Globalization (G11N) Globalization is overall planning by an organization to develop products and support customers in multiple language markets for expansion of international trade.


Internationalization (I18N)

Internationalization is the process of planning and implementing products and services so that they can easily be adapted to specific local languages and cultures, a process called localization. The internationalization process is sometimes called translation or localization enablement. Enablement can include:

  • Allowing space in user interfaces (for example, hardware labels, help pages, and online menus) for translation into languages that require more characters.
  • Developing with products (such as Web editors or authoring tools) that can support international character sets (Unicode).
  • Creating print or Web site graphic images so that their text labels can be translated inexpensively.
  • Using written examples that have global meaning.
  • For software, ensuring data space so that messages can be translated from languages with single-byte character codes (such as English) into languages requiring multiple-byte character codes (such as Japanese Kanji)
11 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.
12 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.
13 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 Language Service Provider (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.
14 Style guide Also called a style manual, this is a document with instructions for the translator, editor or proof-reader. This document includes set of standards for writing, tone of voice, and design of document.
15 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.
16 Turnaround time (TAT) Total time that is needed to deliver the project.
17 Linguistic sign-off (LSO) 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.
18 Editable document A file whose text can be selected by a text editor and whose words can be counted electronically by either these programs or a CAT tool.
19 Matches (or Fuzzy Matches) Sentences found in the text being translated that are retrieved by the Translation Memory because a similar content has already been translated in the past. They are usually divided into percentage groups (50%-99%) and collectively called Fuzzy Matches.
20 Repetitions CAT tools are able to analyse the material to be translated and determine how many segments are repeated within the original text, thus allowing for discounts.
21 Tags Coding used in some file formats to create the respective layout and data structure, such as in web files (html, php, etc.) and slide presentations. When using a CAT tool, a translator can isolate such coding as to not have it included in the final word count report and to not interfere in it, which would affect file functionality.
22 Translation Unit (TU) The combination of a source segment and a target segment, which is recorded in the database as a single unit that can be later leveraged as a match or repetition.
23 Word count report (log) A report generated by a CAT tool containing a breakdown of the word count found in the source document, which allows for a translation quote.
24 Portable Document Format (PDF) A popular format, also known as PDF, which was created by Adobe Systems in 1993 and is used for both text documents and publications. Documents converted into PDF are lighter and can be read by several programs in different operating systems, but can only be edited by special software, the most popular of them being Adobe Acrobat and Foxit.

Translation skill is in great demand due to a globalization of business. The advantage of internet offers scope for a multi-lingual website.

A good translation services provider is able to leverage technology and implement translation projects for various industries in quick turn-around time due to engagement of professional translators who are qualified and graduated with translation studies.

Shakti Enterprise, one of the pioneers in offering professional translation services for the last 50 years have served companies big and small across various spectrum of industries for all types of translation successfully.

Reach us for any information at or call +91- 720 888 5555 For any information you need on translation, localization, and interpretation.

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