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This page is intended to clarify and expand upon some industry-specific and organization-specific lingo that we commonly employ during the course of our work.
In reference to the translation workflow, translation is shorthand for the primary translation which entails translating the source text from one language to another.
This is an essential step in the quality control process. Editing refers to correcting a primary translation by comparing it line-by-line, word-by-word to the source text with special attention to syntax, mistranslation, omission and the like. It also addresses general issues of readability.
This is typically the last step in the quality control process. Proofreading entails reading a translated text without reference to the original source text with special attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting.
A process undertaken by extremely experienced and accomplished linguists in an effort to assess the overall quality of work performed by others by providing constructive feedback and citing specific types or errors or suboptimal work. Peer-reviewers do not undertake to correct a text, but rather rate the quality of a text using examples to cite specific shortcomings should they exist.
Subject Matter Expert (SME)
A subject matter expert, also known as a domain expert, is a person with extensive experience or expertise in a certain area or topic. SMEs are often essential in the translation of highly technical or industry specific documents. They may be professional translators but more often are persons employed in the area in question and perform a language consulting role to assist translators with language for which there are no traditional reference materials.
Langauge pair
A language pair is simply the current language of a text coupled with the language into which one would like to translate it. For example, if you have an English text and would like to translate it into Haitian Creole, the language pair would be English/Haitian Creole. If you have a Haitian Creole text you would like to translate into English, the language pair would be Haitian Creole/English. It is essential that translators only translate into their native language.
CAT Tools
CAT stands for Computer Aided Translation. These are software applications that assist, not replace, human translators as they work. CAT software assists in four main ways: First, breaks down text into smaller pieces often called segments or strings and organizes them in a convenient manner so they are more quickly and easily translated. Secondly, it improves quality control as source and target language strings are saved together and can be easily referenced (and corrected) going forward. Thirdly, translations are saved in a database called a translation memory (TM) which can be leveraged for future translations. This means if future translation projects have similar text, it can be recalled from that database and previous translations can be reused rather than having to re-translate similar of identical text from scratch each time. And, lastly, CAT tools employ terminology databases that can be used to automatically look-up words and phrases that were previously researched and vetted saving a great deal of time as specialized terminology doesn't have to be researched time and time again.
Translation memory
Translation memory is in essence a database that stores previous human translations and then programmatically references them in real time as suggestions while a translator works. Using translation memory has the advantage of saving time and increasing the consistency of a translation as identical text strings can be reused and, thus, translated identically.
Turn around time
This is the estimated time it will take to complete a project from start to finish. For example, if the turn around time for a project is estimated to be 3 business days and begins on a Friday afternoon, it should be completed by Wednesday afternoon.
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