5 Translation Terms You Should Be Familiar With

As a business or brand looking to expand into global markets, you’ll need to take several active steps. We’ve mentioned this in previous posts, and it’s worth mentioning again now, because not enough people understand the importance, not to mention the benefits of moving into international markets.

Step 1 is to find a translator, or translators, who can bring you forward into whatever target culture you have in mind. The key here is deciding how you wish to expand. Once you’ve mapped out and designed a plan, you can contact your LSP of choice and have them, and the PM you’ve brought on board, localize your content or products.

Now, how much of that made sense to you? If you WEREN’T stumped by any of the abbreviations, then you’re in great hands. If some of that was like speaking a (pun intended) foreign language to you, then you’ll definitely need this quick list of 5 translation terms you should be familiar with prior to having any part of your brand translated.

1. Translation/Translator

This may seem obvious. But to some it may not be. And that’s okay. The most important part of determining this word’s purpose and definition is that there is a difference between what translators and interpreters do.

These are both language/culture specific positions. They both require a lot of hard work and dedication to language and culture. But knowing the difference between the two can help you decide that, yes, you do need a translator, or no, you don’t—what you’ve really been looking for all this time is an interpreter.

We cover more about each position’s differences in this post here.

2. Localization

Localization is the process of making a product linguistically and culturally fit to the target language or locale.

This is another concept we’ve covered in previous posts. This, as we’ve stated, is the “whole” that many talk about in terms of translation. See, translation is the “part” in the phrase “a part of the whole.”

Localization is the process of making a product linguistically and culturally fit to the target language or locale. This involves more than just a basic language translation. Many, many variables must be considered in the process of localization. Read more on this process here.

This brings us to our next point.

3. Source & Target

Source language or locale is a reference to the “original” language being translated. Or the original location/culture that the translation project is rooted in.

The target then, as you may have extrapolated, is the language the translation will move into, the culture it will now function in. This is the final version of your translation project.

4. Project Managers (PM)

PMs are the client’s first point of contact. ITC Global Translations will set a PM in place when it comes to handling your translation project. And this, we can assure you, is something you’ll love and appreciate. When it comes to document analysis, selection and scheduling of your team of translators, or implementation of your project and problem solving, your Project Manager will ensure the quality of your project from start to finish.

5. Language Service Provider (LSP)

“Language Service Provider” is a term that has only become more and more popular in the world of translation, within the last decade or so. The term describes a full service translation agency (or provider of translations) for its clients. The term has also been said to be an over-arching or all-encompassing phrase, interchangeable with “Translation Agency” and “Localization Company.”

These agencies, or LSPs, often provide a widely-spanned range of linguistic and translation services.

To give you an example, ITC Translations is a Language Service Provider, giving our customers skilled translators, dependable project managers, and reliable proofreaders for each project, product, or service that needs translating.

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