10 Translation Terms Every Expanding Business Should Know

By Katie Nielsen
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If you're business is expanding internationally, professional translation services will prove to be an invaluable resource. Such services not only translate text, but can help successfully convey your brand message in a way that is culturally appropriate and will resonate with your target market. In order to understand exactly what you need to ensure successful deployment in a new country and to choose the best translation agency for your project, it's important to know relevant industry terms. The following are 10 translation terms and phrases every business expanding into a new market should know.

Accredited Translators – An accredited translator is a translator whose translation competence has been evaluated and accredited by a professional association, such as the American Translators Association. Using accredited translators can increase the accuracy and reliability of your translations.

Certified Translation – This type of translation service refers to translations that are accompanied by a signed statement by the translator or translation agency attesting that the translated text is an accurate and complete rendering of the original source text. Certified translations are typically required for the translation of official documents, such as legal documents, medical records, educational transcripts, and birth and marriage certificates.

Desktop Publishing (DTP) – DTP refers to a high-tech turnkey service that translates a company's marketing and printed materials. A translation service works in the original source files of a graphical document to provide a complete and print-ready translation. DTP is beneficial because the translation company handles the typesetting and formatting of the document as well as the actual text translation.

Interpreting – Translation and interpreting are two related but different fields. Translation is the process of translating written words or text from one language to another. On the other hand, interpreting is the real-time oral translation of a spoken language for the benefit of a live audience. Some language services provide both translation and interpreting services for clients.

International Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Sometimes referred to as global or multilingual SEO, international SEO is the optimization of a website for internet users within a specific locale. This service is often done in conjunction with website translation and helps build the online presence of a business in a foreign country.

Internationalization – Internationalization is the process of designing software or another product in a so it can be adapted to various languages without engineering or hardware changes. The objective of internationalization is to make the product as neutral as possible so it can be easily marketed worldwide. This process is sometimes also referred to as globalization.

Localization – In direct contrast to internationalization, localization is the process of adapting a product or content for a specific locale. Localization involves not only the technical translation of the product but adapting it for the cultural relevancies of the target market as well.

Machine Translation - Machine translation refers to any kind of computer-powered translation, whether it's via a software application or an online translator, such as Babel Fish or Google Translate. Machine translation is not recommended on projects where total accuracy is required because it renders word-for-word translations and thus cannot account for cultural idioms and language complexities.

Translation Memory – This is a type of computer database or software that assists human translators. The database stores previously translated sentences and segments and suggests those translations when they appear in new source text. The translator uses those translations or can adapt them as needed for the new translation. Translation memory is extremely valuable because it improves translation consistency, cost-effectiveness and productivity.

Verbatim Translation – Verbatim translation is a word-for-word translation, or one that closely follows every word in the source text. This type of translation is typically associated with legal or notarized translations, in which a word-for-word translation is necessary.

If you're looking to build an international presence for your business, a basic knowledge of these widely used terms in the translation industry can help you better understand the industry and the various services translation agencies offer.

 
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