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The translation industry glossary



Alignment or Translation Memory Alignment

Basically, this is a process of making previous translations and any legacy materials available in a Translation Memory format. This process is hugely useful when changing translation providers or updating systems because it means that clients are not forced to continue relationships with LSPs and can still reap benefits of long-term partnerships while starting a new working relationship.

Analysis or Linguistic Analysis

This term applies to the examination of a language sample. Such analysis is often the first step of translation or localization process, and we use it to determine the complexity and other features of the source material to make a prognosis about the price and deadlines for the project.

Anonymization or Data Anonymization

Anonymization is the process of rendering personal data anonymous. It’s a GDPR-mandated procedure used by companies to process and utilize personal data without violating the law. Good LSPs will be able to perform this for clients as part of language services.


Artboards are individual workspaces featured in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. You can think about them as individual pieces of paper on a larger canvas. We use artboards to compare different designs, test color schemes and to make sure various pieces of work are consistent with one another.

ASAP or asap

This abbreviation sees a lot of use in our day to day lives as a LSP and it means As Soon As Possible.



Generally, a baseline is a fixed point used for comparison purposes. In DTP environment, however, it’s the line upon which most letters sit – you can’t get the typography right without it!


For our purposes, bilingual means written, created, or done using two languages. This term is often used for dictionaries, databases and translated materials.


This term is part of DTP vocabulary, and we typically use it to denote a type of link with representative text that makes it easier to navigate documents exported as Adobe PDF.


This process refers to adding or removing branding signs. We perform this for clients as a part of DTP process.


CAT tools

Computer Assisted Translation tools is a broad term encompassing software that facilitates the actual translation process. They can include translation memory facilities, spell and grammar checkers, text aligners and the like.

Certified translation

Any translation that has been certified by a translator to be accurate. The translator accepts legal responsibility in case of inaccuracies. This level of translation is typically enough for the translated document to be used in formal procedures of a given country but quite a few insist on only so-called “sworn” translations to be used in legal or administrative proceedings. Please see Sworn translation for more detail as we’ve found a lot of people think it’s one and the same.


CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Alongside RGB, this term denotes a mode of mixing colors in graphic design. As a subtractive mode, it works best with printed media.

Copy editing

Performed by copy editors, this process involves checking a text for consistency and accuracy.

Context match

In computer-assisted translation project, a context match takes place when the segment to be translated is identical to a segment in Translation Memory and this has to apply to a segment before and after, creating the context.


Shortened form of Comma-Separated Values, this format uses commas to separate data points and can be represented in Microsoft Excel.


Fuzzy match – To understand what a fuzzy match is, you have to know a little about Translation Memories (TMs). Such a software breaks the text to be translated into segments and then looks for matches between those segments and the TM content to make suggestions for a possible translation. If said match is less than exact, we call it being fuzzy.

See also other types of matches.



GILT is the acronym for globalization, internationalization, localization, and translation. This acronym is used in business to mean different facets of expanding businesses globally and reaching new markets.


Globalization is the process by which the world becomes more and more interconnected thanks to free trade and new technologies. In the corporate setting, globalization is done by the means of localization and internationalization. Sometimes abbreviated to G11N, where 11 is the number of letters between the first, G, and the last, N.


ICE match

Sometimes called an In-Context Exact Match or a Guaranteed Match, this is the suggestion of the TM, in which all the words are the same as in a TM entry. In addition, the segments before and after said segment are also identical to a set of three consecutive TM segments and provide perfect matches.

See also other types of matches.


In the corporate world, internationalization refers to the practice of designing products, services, and operations for expansion into international markets. Alongside localization, the internationalization is typically undertaken as a means of global expansion of a given company. Sometimes abbreviated to I18N, where 18 is the number of letters between the first, I, and the last, N.


ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is responsible for the development and publication of International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.


Language Pair

In a linguistic environment, a language pair refers to two languages a professional is able to translate from one to the other. In this instance, you’d write the language pair as EN-PL to denote English and Polish services. Language pairs can be one directional, which means that the professional would only be able to work from the language on the left to the language on the right. In this case, we’d write the languages as EN>PL to mean the services would be from English to Polish but not Polish to English.


Localization takes place when a product or service is adapted to meet the needs of a particular language, culture or population’s “criteria of ownership”, i.e., when our target audience accepts the service or product as having been made locally, within their culture. Sometimes abbreviated to L10N, where 10 is the number of letters between the first, L, and the last, N.


This abbreviation means Language Service Provider and is used to mean an agency, company or an individual who provides language services such as translation, localization, or interpreting. One example of a LSP is Studio Gambit.


Machine Translation (MT)

Machine translation takes place when a computer generates translation based on specific algorithm sets. Such a translation can be rule based, statistical or neural – or a hybrid of any of the three. Google Translate is a good example of a Machine Translation Engine. Often confused with Computer Assisted Translation, it only refers to the actions of software, not any human input.

Machine Translation Post-Editing

Machine Translation Post-Editing takes place when the text translated by a machine engine are then proofread by a human translator. Depending on the intensity and requirements of proofreading, we can employ slow and detail-oriented Full Machine Translation Post-Editing (Full MTPE), or quick and agile Light Machine Translation Post-Editing (Light MTPE).


This is an abbreviation of Multi-Language Vendors, i.e., entities who provide localization or language services into multiple different languages. Studio Gambit is a good example of an MLV which employs many SLVs (Single Language Vendors). For more about SLVs please see below.


Neural Machine Translation (NMT)

This innovative type of Machine Translation (MT) adapts to the style of work and learns from corrections in real time. It is also able to adapt to the context of the translated project. Its conception has come following such solutions as Rules-Based Machine Translation (RBMT) which translated word for word with no understanding of nuance, and Statistical Machine Translation (SMT), which had a basic understanding of idioms and context.



In the context of Quality Control, these terms refer to passing or failing a Quality Control (QC) test.

Perfect match

A companion to fuzzy and ICE matches, this is when for a given segment, there is an exact match to the segment in the previous version of a document that had been translated before. Usually, this doesn’t involve any look-ups in the TM (in contrast to 100% match and other types of matches). This means that an identical segment has been translated before in the previously-translated document and is now invoked to help make the translation more effective and consistent. See also other types of matches.


This lone suffix has become a noun, meaning the stage when a team of software engineers prepares the files for further translation or localization work. This term can be added to a noun (pre-translation), or used on its own.


This is the process of finding errors in texts for sharing or publication.


Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is the set of systematic processes by which a given company assures the quality of its products or services. For LSPs, it involves actions such as copy editing, proofreading and translation review.

QA Report

Short form of a Quality Assurance Report, in a linguistic environment this means a special report type that translators can run to keep track of errors and best practices in their projects. Often, these would be run as part of the Computer Assisted Translation to reveal discrepancies between the source and target segments.



RGB refers to the primary colors of Red, Green and Blue that are used in digital screens, lenses and scanners. Alongside CMYK, this term describes one of color-mixing modes in graphic design. As an additive mode, it works best for digital design.


Segment 99, 100, or 101%

This means a translated segment has resulted in a specific type of match. 

Segment 99%/ (99% match) – this result means that there is an almost identical segment in the Translation Memory for the project.

Segment 100%/ (100% match) – this means that the Translation Memory contains an identical segment that has already been translated.

Segment 101%/ (101% match) – this result means that not only the Translation Memory contains an identical segment that has already been translated, but that any changes to this translation have been blocked by the client. This often happens in cases of corporate and marketing expressions.


In translation, segmentation is the process of breaking down the source text into smaller units, most probably to go through the matching process in order to determine how the matches can aid the translator’s work.


This abbreviation denotes Single Language Vendors. Typically, this group consists of translators specialising in one language pair, such as English-German or Polish-Swedish. MLVs can employ or subcontract SLVs to offer services in more than one language pair.

Spell check

This refers to the software or to a function of a software that identifies possible misspellings by comparing a block of text with a database of accepted spellings.

Sworn translation

Sworn translations is a colloquial way to speak about translations that can only be produced by sworn translators. Such translations are the golden standard for legal documents or a document that needs to be accepted in a court of law or any other legal situation. Many countries accept certified translation without the need to pay for a sworn translator’s services, however, so it’s always good to ask! Please see also certified translation above.


Term base

A term base is a data base that contains singular words or phrases related to a particular subject or field. It’s typical of term bases to contain equivalents in more than one language.


This simply means the body of terms related to a certain concept or field.

Trained Machine Translation

This means a machine translation with the use of “trained” engines – pieces of software capable of translating texts from a source language to a target language. Training such an engine is nothing less than loading into it a database full of bilingual terms previously translated by a client or an LSP. This process results in a more precise Machine Translation, saving time and effort.


Derived from “creative translation”, this process covers adapting one, ‘source’ language’s written concepts and meanings to another, ‘target’ language. Most commonly utilized in marketing and advertising fields to adapt slogans and messages to different cultural backgrounds.


Translation typically covers expressing one, ‘source’ language’s written concepts and meanings in terms of another, ‘target’ language. It’s a complex and demanding process calling for educated specialists and competent businesses. Sometimes abbreviated to T9N, where 9 is the number of letters between the first, T, and the last, N.

Translation consistency

There are two types of translation consistency, internal and external. Internal consistency means that all language items had been translated consistently using the same words within one target text. External consistency is the same but applied to an entire project or a group of projects. 

Translation Memory (TM)

This is a commonly used term which denotes a database with segments of text that have been translated before. Translation Memories are typically used with translation software like CATs to improve effectiveness and consistency of a translation project.

Translation Page/Standard Translation Page

Oftentimes a project would provide a number of pages to be translated. A standard translation page is a measurement unit so the LSPs and their clients can be aware how many words and characters there are in a project.

One standard page contains from 1500 to 1800 characters with spaces or 250 words. A standard page for a certified or sworn translation is always 1125 characters with spaces.

Translation Review

Translation review is the process of checking translated texts for appropriate quality, consistency, tone, and style.


This term refers to the analysis and solving of problems in professional setting. For a LSP, this is closely related to Quality Assurance and Translation Review amongst other processes.


A TXT file is a standardized text file able to hold plain text and able to be opened in any text editing program.



Shortened form of User Assistance, typically used to describe the guidance for users of software.


Shorthand for User Interface, this term represents any interactions a user might have with computer systems, software, and digital applications.


This short form of User Experience refers to the overall “feel” of using or accessing software or brand. UX-centric design makes user experience the focus of its efforts.


Whitespace characters

This vaguely arcane term belongs to the realm of typography and denotes any character or characters that represent horizontal or vertical space. There are six important white-space characters: the word space, the nonbreaking space, the tab, the hard line break, the carriage return, and the hard page break.



XLIFF is the XML Localization Interchange File Format that is universal to the translation and localization industry.


A shortened form of a Microsoft Excel Open XML Spreadsheet, when a file ends with .xlsx, it’s a sign that it was created in Microsoft Excel.


Shortened form of Extensible Markup Language, a markup language and file format used to store, transmit and reconstruct data. XML files can store large amount of data, the format is also readily used in the translation and localization industry.

Studio Gambit Team

We are the translators, editors, proofreaders, project managers, IT specialists, localization engineers and DTP operators forming part of the team here at Studio Gambit.

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