Translation and Localization Glossary



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American English

The English language as spoken in the USA.


ASP is an abbreviation for Active Server Pages. These pages provide a platform for creating interactive applications on the Web; mainly on a Microsoft Windows platform.


AutoCAD is a commercial software application for 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting. It has been on the market since 1982 and since 2010, it has been available as a mobile Web- and Cloud-based app.

The software is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, designers and other professionals. Files are exported as DXF. See more about DXF.


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Back Translation

A literal translation back into a source language. It is used to make sure that an original meaning has been preserved.

British English (BE)

The English language as spoken in Britain or the UK.


Braille is a system of communication for the blind or partially sighted people.

The RoboBraille service is an email based translation service capable of translating documents to and from contracted Braille, and into synthetic speech programs. Users submit documents (i.e. text files, Word documents, HTML Web pages et cetera) as email attachments. The translated results are returned to the user via email, typically within a matter of minutes. The service is available free of charge to all non-commercial users.

See RoboBraille


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CAD is short for Computer-Aided Design. It is a software program that assists in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design by either an architect, an animator, an interior designer, an industrial design or the like.

Computer Aided / Assisted Translation (CAT)

CAT is machine translation using a software package which includes a translation memory and terminology database that stores both source and target sentences. If a sentence reappears, the software will suggest the previously used translation for the translator to consider.

Content Management System (CMS)

This system is used to manage the content on a website or Web application.

Cultural Adaptation

Editing a text to fit in with the cultural aspects of the target language.


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Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

DITA is an XML based architecture for authoring, producing and delivering document information. Its main applications, so far, have been in technical publications.

DITA is used for other types of document controlled authoring such as BDM, EDM, BOM, policies and procedures.

The name is derived from Charles Darwin, a British-born naturalist. DITA uses the principles of specialisation and inheritance.

Information Typing: DITA capitalises on the semantics of topics (concept, task, reference) and of content (messages, typed phrases, semantic tables).

Architecture: DITA provides vertical headroom (new applications) and edgewise extension (specialisation into new types) for information.

Systems such as STAR GRIPS allows you to author and publish documents using DITA.

Desktop Publishing (DTP)

DTP is the process of reformatting a document before it is exported to the translation software to produce a target document identical to the source document. See more here: multilingual desktop publishing

What is DTP?

Document Type Definition (DTD)

Used in content authoring systems, a document type definition (DTD) is a specific definition that follows the rules of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). A DTD is a specification that accompanies a document and identifies markup codes and the rules for their use.


DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format) is an AutoCAD data file format by Autodesk, Inc. It enables data interoperability between the various AutoCAD versions.

AutoCAD also supports the native file format of DWG (short for drawing). This file extension allows binary data storing of two- and three-dimensional designs and metadata. Other CAD programs can operate DWG files.


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Commercial transactions and trading of services conducted electronically on the Internet, aka electronic commerce.


The process of preparing a document for delivery to the customer by modifying or correcting it.


The use of a set phrase in a target language to translate an idiomatic expression into a source language.

European Agency for Health & Safety at Work

The central European agency for Health & Safety issues.


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Freelance Translator

A translator who takes on contracted work from a translation or localization company, but is not directly employed by that company.


The typeface used in your documents to display foreign characters. For some languages, you need to purchase special fonts for your software in order to display them correctly. For international language fonts, visit the popular Fonts website.


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The process of getting a rough idea of a translation. This is normally associated with machine translation, i.e. software that produces a rough translation of a sentence.


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Hashtag Symbol (#)

The hashtag symbol (#) is a tag used in Web postings like Twitter to denote a topic or trend. On Twitter, hashtags denote a topic or keyword. It is placed next to a word (e.g. #ecommerce) when posting messages, so that other users and search engines alike can easily find related tweets.

Hashtags are also used by Web designers and developers in the form of anchors and hexadecimal colour codes.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

The markup language used to create Web pages in which a browser uses HTML elements to render text and images. Such elements are written in the form of tags enclosed in angle brackets e.g.

HSA (Health & Safety Authority)

The HSA are a state sponsored body in Ireland endowed with the responsibility for securing the safety, health and welfare of employees at work and operate under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

HSE (Health Service Executive)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for providing Health and Personal Social Services for everyone living in the Republic of Ireland.


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IDML (Adobe InDesign Markup Language)

IDML is an XML representation of an InDesign document or components. It describes the structure of IDML files, the XML schema for IDML validation, and provides examples of IDML file content.

INDD (Adobe InDesign Document)

A desktop publishing software for page layout and design. It can contain text, images, links and multiple documents for export and later saving to PDF for high-quality printing or online publication.


A person who provides a spoken (oral) translation. Interpreters are often used in business meetings where more than one nationality is involved.

International Radio Operators’ Phonetic Alphabet

The International Radio Operators’ Phonetic Alphabet is a standard form of communication used by radio operators worldwide. It is used to verbally spell names and codes in a clear and understandable manner.
It is available on our blog: Radio Operators’ Phonetic Alphabet.


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How text is aligned on a page. In most Western cultures text is aligned to the left side of a page however, in documents that contain columns, they are often centre justified to improve the overall appearance.


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The amount of space between adjacent characters. This can be increased for titles.


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Literal Translation

A translation that follows the source text very closely.


The process of editing a product for a specific (usually foreign) market in cultural and linguistic terms.


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Machine Translation

A translation carried out by a software programme without the need for human intervention but requires extensive editing of terminology, meaning and grammar afterwards.


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Native Speaker

A person with native speaker competence in a language.
Native speaker competence command of a language (both oral and written), as spoken from childhood and continually maintained; also referred to as one’s mother tongue.


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Online Dictionary

An electronic dictionary that is accessible on the internet and can be used to translate words and segments.


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PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF is an open standard for electronic document exchange maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It was developed and has been maintained by Adobe Systems for more than 20 years. PDF files can contain clickable links and buttons, form fields, video and audio.


A process a target document goes through before it is sent to the customer. This is usually carried out by a native speaker to ensure fluency.


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A desktop publishing industry tool for page layout and design. Visit Quark

QXD (QuarkXPress Document)

This is the default file extension for a Quark file on Windows. It can contain text and images and is used to design layouts for newspapers, magazines, flyers and brochures.

QXP (QuarkXPress Project file)

Another file extension for a Quark file on Windows that can contain text, images and multiple documents (QXD).


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RTF (Rich Text Format)

A format developed by Microsoft for exchanging text documents. RTF files can be saved in Microsoft Word. Translation is often done in RTF to maintain certain fonts.


A free online Braille translation system. The RoboBraille service is an email based translation service capable of translating documents to and from contracted Braille and into synthetic speech. Users submit documents, i.e. text files, Word documents, HTML Web pages) as email attachments.

The translated results are returned to the user via email, typically within a matter of minutes. The service is available free of charge to all non-commercial users.
Visit RoboBraille


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A segment is part of a target document which is stored in a translation and also with its corresponding translation. Segments are usually delineated by punctuation.

Source Document

An original document that is to be translated into other languages.

Source Text

The original text within a document that is to be translated.

Source Language

The language of the original document that is to be translated into another language.


A file compression utility for the MAC. This is a really useful tool for sending MAC files for translation. It compresses the documents, images and fonts into a single SIT format, so your files are delivered cleanly for translation.


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Target Document

A document created from the original source document using a target language’s text.

Target Language

A language used in a target document that is translated from a source document.

Target Text

A translation of a source text.


The preferred technical terms or words used by a particular company.


A translation software program used by the STAR Group. Visit TransitNXT for more information.


The process of translating from one language into another.

Translation Company / Agency

A company that provides not only translation services, but also other related services such as editing, proofreading, voice-overs and localization.

Translation Memory

A software program used to store translation segments or units in a database for future use.

Time Zone

The earth is divided into different zones, so you can calculate the time in each area at any given moment.

Looking for Time Zone information?


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A character encoding scheme. This system will allow the display of up to 65,535 characters. It is used predominately on Windows and Web applications to ensure they can display all international characters.


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A service that translates and dubs over a foreign language film’s or TV series’s original language and multimedia presentations into a target language(s) for a new audience.


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Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is used to define Web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centred design and collaboration on the World Wide Web.

While the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to the ways software developers and end-users use the Web. A site developed in Web 2.0 gives its users the choice to interact or collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue, as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of created content.
Visit Website translation for a service we provide to all our customers.

Word Count

The standard measurement used to calculate the cost of the translation based on either a source or a target text.


Word-for-word translation is the process of translating a text by translating each word of a source text individually.

World Factbook

The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA for the use of US Government officials; the style, format, coverage and content of the website is designed to meet various and specific requirements.

It gives background information on virtually every country in the world from population, flags and languages to local information on economics and past and current world leaders.


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XML (Extensible Markup Language)

XML is an open standard for structuring information. It is used in a wide variety of applications to create documents that can be easily shared across applications or over the internet. Typically, this is used in Content Authoring Systems.


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