Common translation terms explained
As a client, it’s good to be familiar with the most central terms related to translation if you want to have a better understanding of the translation process. In this article, we explain some of the most common terms and concepts used in the translation industry.
Translation, proofreading and translator’s review
The translation process at Navitep consists of three stages, and two language experts participate in it. When the translator has finished translating the text, it is proofread by a native speaker. This way we can ensure the translation’s high quality. The final stage is the so-called translator’s review. When the text has been proofread, the original translator reviews the changes made by the proofreader and either accepts or rejects them. The translator has the ultimate responsibility for the text, because they are more familiar with the subject than the proofreader. The translator can benefit from the translator’s review, because it offers an opportunity to develop their translation skills based on the feedback.
SEO and localisation
In addition to translation services, Navitep offers SEO and localisation services. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to a service in which the online visibility of a text is improved. In such projects, a translator skilled in SEO is selected for the job. A text that has been optimized for search engines contains so-called keywords or phrases, among other things, that improve the ranking of the article in search results. Besides knowing the target language perfectly, the person doing the SEO must be familiar with the related internet culture to be able to choose words that people use in their online searches.
Localisation in general refers to the adaptation of, e.g. a website, software or product to the target language so that, in addition to the translation, other cultural factors are also taken into consideration. It is important that the translator chosen for the task knows the target culture and knows, for example, how to address customers and how to persuade them to buy the company’s products.
Translation memory and term base
There are two central terms regarding the translation software used by today’s professionals: translation memory and term base. It’s good to know what these two terms mean and what their difference is, because they affect the estimated turnaround time, among other things.
Translation memory (TM) consists of the client’s previous translations. The translation jobs ordered by the client are saved in the translation memory, and when the client orders a new translation, parts of the new texts might already be in the memory, which facilitates the translator’s job, also affecting the pricing of the new translation. With every new translation, the number of words and repetitions within the text are counted and the text is compared with the translation memory. The discounts are based on how many identical or partly identical parts there are in the texts.
Term base (TB) refers to a list of words compiled by the client, which can be used to ensure consistent use of terms in the client’s texts. Alternatively, we can compile the term base for the client and the client can then check and accept it so it can be used in their future translations.
Estimated turnaround time
The estimated turnaround time for a translation is based on the estimated number of words a professional translator can translate per day ‒ about 2,000, while a proofreader is expected to be able to read 8,000 words per day. Depending on the urgency of the project, a sizable project can be split between two or more translators. This is made possible by our cloud-based system, in which the project as well as the resources are simultaneously available to all translators. Additional factors affecting the turnaround time are the contents of the text, the translation memory, and the possible term base. If the subject matter is difficult or if it consists of only a list of terms, the number of words translated per day might be smaller.
Machine translation and post-editing
Translation technology is constantly being developed and various AI-based translation technologies are becoming more common. Here at Navitep we are also working on implementing machine translation, and in the future our plan is to implement neural machine translation in our translations. When the system has produced a translation, the translator’s job is to post-edit the text, i.e. to make the needed amendments to it. Machine translation is useful especially with big translation projects, because it speeds up the process. It’s good to note, however, that machine translation is not the best option for all kinds of text. You can read more on the topic in this article.
Is there anything about the translation process that you’d like us to clarify? Leave a comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.