Technical glossary

Technical glossary of translation terms

Technical glossary

Occasionally, you’ll come across some unfamiliar terms on the intercontact website or when talking to people in the localisation and translation industry. You’ll find many of these terms listed here with short explanations.

Technical glossary

CAT stands for computer-assisted translation (or computer-aided translation) and refers to the use of computer systems to store and retrieve translated text.

See also: CAT tool

Synonyms - Computer-aided translation, computer-assisted translation

A CAT tool (computer-aided translation tool) is translation software for computer-aided translation, which automates certain steps of the translation process from one language to another. CAT tools help to increase translators’ speed and productivity. They also improve the quality of a translation by retrieving and reusing text segments that have already been translated, which saves time and ensures terms are translated consistently. In contrast to MT (see machine translation), CAT tools do not provide instantaneous translations, but support the human translator.

See also: Machine translation, Segment

Synonyms - Computer-aided translation tool, Computer-assisted translation tool

Certification involves an authorised translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of a technical translation from a source language into a target language. The translation is dated and documented with a stamp and the accredited translator’s signature to confirm that it is a true representation of the original text. In many countries, an authorised translator must be licensed and registered with a district court.

Offices and authorities require a certified translation for documents that are to be presented abroad. Documents requiring certification include contracts, T&Cs, statutes, charters, articles of incorporation or association, annual financial statements or extracts from the commercial register, which are required for international company mergers.

For further information, please visit the websites of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne.

Synonyms - Notarisation, notarization
Computational Linguistics is the application of computer science and engineering to analysing and understanding written and spoken language.

A confidentiality agreement is a binding contract signed by all parties involved in a translation or editing project. By signing it, each partner is obliged to protect any confidential information disclosed by one party to another through their collaboration. This covers both direct and indirect exchange, or as defined in the agreement.

Synonyms - NDA, Non-disclosure agreement, Confidentiality agreement

In the language world, this term refers to the topics or subject matter in a written work. It often refers to website content. The well-known quote "content is king" comes from the field of online marketing, and highlights the central role that high-quality content and text plays in the success of a website, search engine optimisation and successful marketing in general. Sustainable success is only possible if your content is useful, meaningful, carefully crafted and resonates with your target market. The term content distinguishes the content of a website from its technical infrastructure. Navigation, the imprint, layout and advertising are not website content.

See also: Content marketing

A content management system (CMS) is a software program for creating, editing and managing digital content, e.g. on a website. The software runs on a specialised computer, a web server. WordPress, Joomla, TYPO3 and Drupal are among the best-known open source CMS systems. With open source software, the source code is available to all, and anyone can use it, continue to develop functions and even create their own functionality. All without licence fees or dependency on a company. It is estimated that there are currently around 300 different content management systems on the market.

Synonyms - CMS

Content marketing is part of the modern marketing mix. It encompasses messaging, creative thought strategies and content production. Examples of content marketing include newsletters, blogs, white papers, social media posts, e-mails, educational articles, advertorials, e-books, videos, entertainment and webinars.

The content provided – mostly online – offers the target group added value and is intended to convince them about a company and its products or services. Within the framework of a content marketing strategy, a brand needs to define its goals, target groups, content formats and update frequencies.

Formats in content marketing include text, images, graphics or infographics, surveys, videos and podcasts.

Good content solves problems, provides answers and entertains the reader or audience. Content marketing is also called inbound marketing because the company is found by the customer. In contrast, with outbound marketing, companies try to find the customer (active advertising such as TV adverts, banners, billboards and telemarketing).

Synonyms - Inbound marketing, Brand journalism

Copy refers to written material, as opposed to images, photographs or other elements of layout. It is used in websites, newsletters, magazines, advertising, newspapers and books etc. In advertising, copy is used to encourage consumers to buy goods or services.

See also: Copywriting

Copyediting is the first editing stage and happens before text goes to DTP and page layout. Although the terms “copyediting” and “proofreading” might seem to mean the same thing, they actually describe different steps in the editing process.

Copyeditors catch all the mistakes the author missed. Copyediting refers to making local changes to things like sentence structure and phrasing to make sure your meaning is conveyed clearly and succinctly. A copyeditor looks for and corrects these errors:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Missing words
  • Linguistic style
  • Readability
  • Content issues
  • Light fact checking (dates, names, specialist terminology etc.)
  • Formatting and structure
  • Consistency

Find out more

See also: Proofreading, Text correction</p

Synonyms - Copy editing, Manuscript editing

Copywriting is another word for "marketing writing". It is defined as the act of writing text (copy) for advertising purposes or marketing materials. Copywriters compose creative text for websites, brochures, catalogues, blogs, newsletters, advertising, journals, taglines, slogans, product descriptions, white papers, social media and magazines. The word "copy" in advertising language refers to the text; a copywriter is an advertising copywriter.

See also: Copy

Corporate wording, also known as corporate language, refers to the terminology used in a company’s internal and external communication. It forms a part of the company’s identity and corporate design by communicating the company values, message and philosophy.

Defining a uniform, consistent language is important, as is the choice of words, tonality, writing culture and form of address. International corporate wording is supported, and further developed, by using comprehensive termbases (terminology databases). Corporate Wording®: patented as a word mark Hans-Peter Förster in 1994

See also: Termbase

Synonyms - Corporate language, corporate communication
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