Glossary of Terms

8-bit Unicode Transfer Format - See UTF-8

Accelerator key - See Hot key

Accented character - A character with a diacritic, i.e. a mark placed over, under, or through a Latin character. Diacritics usually indicate a change in phonetic value, for example in ä or ç.

Alignment - Creating a translation memory database by matching segments in two sets of translated documents (source language and translated version ). With modern text alignment tools, this is a semi-automated process.

Bi-directional - Language, such as Hebrew or Arabic, where text is displayed and read from right - to - left, but where left - to right display is also supported, for example for English words translated names.

Build environment - Set of files necessary to build or compile a software application.

Cascading Style Sheet (CCS) - An external document that determines the layout of tagged file formats such as HTML.

CAT - See Computer Aided Translation

Character set - Mapping of character from a writing system into a set of codes. Examples are ANSI, which uses eight bits to code character, or Unicode, which uses 16 bits for each character.

CJKV - Short for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese.

Code page - A character set and character encoding scheme which is a part of a related series. Unlike characters sets, each character in a code page has a numerical index.

Collateral - Relatively small localization project components such as quick reference cards, disk labels, product boxes, and marketing material.

Computer Aided Translation (CAT) - A term used to describe the computer technology that automates or supports translators in the translation of one natural language into another language.

Concatenation - The process of adding text elements or strings together to form a larger string. this is often problematic for translation because in many languages the word order in sentences differs from the English word order.

Consolidation - In the context of the localization industry, consolidation refers to mergers and acquisitions of localization service provides.

Control key - A key combination of Ctrl and a letter or number that immediately executes a command.

Controlled language - A subset of a natural language, used mainly to write technical material, which is more structured and easier to understand than uncontrolled language.

Cosmetic testing - Testing the user interface of an application.

CSS - See Cascading Style Sheet.

Cyrillic - The writing script used to represent character in Slavic languages, such as Greek or Russian.

DBCS - See Double-byte character set.

Desktop Publishing (DTP) - Formatting and layout of text and images on a computer prior to output on paper, CD-Rom, or any online format.

Double-byte enablement - Internationalizing a product in a way that it supports the input, processing and display of double-byte characters used in Asian languages.

DTD - See Document Type Definition.

DTP - See Desktop Publishing.

Dynamic web site - As opposed to static web sites, dynamic sites produce web pages dynamically, using a combinations content, style sheets, scripting, and HTML.

Extended characters - All characters in the ASCII range 128 to 255.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) - A metalanguage, i.e. a language for describing other languages, used to create customized markup for specific purposes, XML is a subset of SGML and has been designed specifically for the web.

Extensible Style-sheet Language (XSL) - A language for expressing style-sheets, controlling formatting and other output behavior, which is based on DSSL (SGML) and CSS (HTML).

FIGS - Short for French, Italian, German, Spanish.

Full match - A source text segment which corresponds exactly (100%) with a previously stored sentence in a translation memory tool.

Functional testing - Testing the functionally of a product, i.e. the tasks or commands performed by running a software application.

Fuzzy matching - A method used in translation memory tools identify text segments that do not match previously translated segments 100%. This approach allows translation of similar text to be leveraged. For example, "press OK to continue" is a 75% fuzzy match with "Click OK to continue".

G11n - See Globalization (11 letters between "g" and "n").

Gantt  chart - A bar chart used as a tool for planning and scheduling, in which project activities or tasks are shown graphically as bars drawn on a horizontal time scale.

Gisting - Using machine translations to that will merely convey the approximate rather than the full and literal meaning of documents such as e-mails, news articles, letters, and web pages.

Globalization (G11n) - Globalization addresses the business issues associated with launching a product globally. In the globalization of high-tech produces this involves integrating localization throughout a company, after proper internationalization and product design, as well as marketing, sales, and support in the world market.

Glossary - In the context of translation/localization projects, a bilingual list containing keywords or phrases and equivalent translations.

Glyph - The actual shape of a character, A sans-serif A and a serif A, for example, are two different glyphs of the same character.

Hard-coding - The embedding of translatable strings in the body of programming code rather than in separate resource files.

Help complier - Utility used to build online help files, i.e. it converts sets of source files (for example HTML) and images into one binary, searchable online help document.

Hiragana - A small set of characters and words of Japanese origin. Hiragana and katakana scripts represent individual syllables used for Japanese pronunciation.

Hot key - The underlined letter or number in a menu command or dialog box option which can be pressed in combination with the Alt key to activate the command or option.

Hotspot - An area of an image in an online help document that links to another topic.

HTML - See HyperText Markup Language.

HTML Help - HTML Help is a follow-up to Windows Help (WinHelp). It is the Microsoft standard for online help, which is based on the HTML file format.

Hypergraphic - Image in an online help file or web page containing "hotspots" or links to other pages.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) - A subset of SGML, defining a set of tags used mainly for display of pages on the web.

I18n - See internationalization (18 letters between "I" and "n").

Ideographic - A writing system in which symbols or ideographs representing words or syllables that represent pronunciation and meaning. Ideographs are used in Japanese Kanji, Chinese Hanzi, and Korean Hanja.

IME - See Input method editor.

Input method editor (IME) - A utility which converts keystrokes and ideographs to other characters, usually allowing to choose one entry from the characters retrieved from the dictionary.

Internationalization (i18n) - The process of generalizing a product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural convention, without the need for re-design. Internationalization takes place at the level of program design and document development.

Internationalization testing - Testing the international support and localizability of a product.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) - a worldwide federation of national bodies governing standards in approximately 130 countries, one from each country.

ISO - See International Organization for Standardization.

Kanji - Japanese name for basic ideographs from Chinese origin which represent a single word.

Katakana - A character set which consists of a different set of symbols for the same sounds as expressed in hiragana. However, Katakana is often used for English and other foreign words and names.

Kick-off meeting - A meeting before the start of a new localization project where representatives, typically key project team members from the localization vendor and publisher, discuss project plans, schedules, and other project-related issues.

L10n - See Localization (10 letters between "l" and "n").

 Language engineering - The application of knowledge of written and spoken language to the development of information, transaction and communication systems, so that they can recognize, understand, interpret, and generate human language.

Language tier - In the context of localization, a set of languages released simultaneously. French and German, for example, are usually ''tier one'' languages.

Layered graphic - An image file in which translatable text is stored on a separate layer for efficient translation.

Leverage - In the context of translation or localization, re-using or recycling previously translated words.

Linguistic testing - Testing all language-related aspects of a localized product in context.

LISA - See Localization Industry Standards Association.

Locale - A collection of standard settings, rules and data specific to a language and geographical region.

Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) - An organization which was founded in 1990 and is made up of mostly software publishers and localization service providers. LISA organizes forums, publishes a newsletter, conducts surveys, and has initiated several special-interest groups focusing on specific issues in localization.

Localization (110n) - Localization involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country /region and language) where it will be used and sold.

Localization kit - Set of files, tools, and instructions created by software developer and sent to localization vendor when a software localization project is started.

Localization testing - A combination of linguistic and cosmetic testing to ensure the quality of the user interface in a localized application.

Localization vendor - A business that provides localization services, ranging from translation and project management, to engineering and testing.

Machine Aided Translation - See Computer Aided Translation.

Machine Translation (MT) - A methodology and technology used to automate language translations from one human language to another, using terminology glossaries and advanced grammatical and semantic analysis techniques.

Markup - A sequence of characters or other symbols inserted in a text or word processing file to indicate how the file should look when it is printed or displayed or to describe the document's logical structure.

Markup language - Set of codes and tags, combined with text that need to be processed and displayed using an application, for example a web browser for HTML.

Match - In the context of translation memory, a segment in the source text which corresponds exactly (full match) or portly (fuzzy match) with a segment stored in the translation memory databases.

MBCS - See Multi-byte Character Set.

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) - Microsoft online subscription service, which publishes a set of CDs containing development kits and tools, localized versions of Microsoft operating systems and application, glossaries, beta versions of new releases, etc.

MLV - See Multi-language Vendor.

Mnemonic - See Hot key.

MSDN - See Microsoft Developer Network.

MT - See Machine Translation.

Multi-byte Character Set (MBCS) - A character set in which each character is represented as either a 1-byte or 2-byte value. the standard ASCII character set is a subset of the MBCS, which is used for language that require a set of more than 250 characters.

Multi-Language Vendor (MLV) - A localization vender capable of localizing products in a wide range of languages. Most MLVs centralize project management for multi-language projects and have offices or partners all over the world.

National Language Support (NLS) - Function that allows a software application to set the locale for the user, identify the language in which the user works, and retrieve strings_ representing times, dates, and other information - formatted correctly for the specified language and location. National language support also includes support for keyboard layouts and language-specific fonts.

NLS - See National Language Support.

Outsourcing - In the context of localization, contracting certain activities to third parties. Most localization vendors, for example, outsource translation work to freelance translators, and publishers often outsource the full localization process to localization vendors, including translation, engineering, and testing

PDF - See Portable Document Format.

Portable Document Format (PDF) - Files format developed by Adobe which is based on the postscript standard; PDF files can be created from any other application and are used mainly for electronic file distribution.

Post-mortem - In the context of localization projects, a meeting between representatives from the publisher and the localization vendor, held after a project is completed, to evaluate the project and suggest process modifications for future projects.

Postscript - A programming language which is used to describe the appearance of text, graphical shapes, and sampled images on printed or displayed pages.

Pseudo-translation - An automated or manual process where each translatable text string in the software is replaced with a longer string or series of accented characters, in order to stop any potential problems in compiling and executing the localized files.

Quality Assurance (QA) - The steps and processes in place to ensure a quality final product.

Quality Control (QC) - Verification of the quality of products produced by QA process.
RC file - See Resource script file.

Request for proposal (RFP) - A request sent out by a publisher to a localization vendor, usually including a localization kit, which is used to create a proposal for localization services.

Request for Quotation (RFQ) - An RFQ is sent by a publisher to localization vendor with source material to obtain a quote listing all project components and costs.

Resizing - Adjusting the size or position of elements of screen, from, or dialog box to ensure translated text fits in the space available.

Resource editor - A stand-alone tool or feature in a development that enables the user to edit a user interface, e.g. dialog boxes and menus.

Resource-only (.dll) - A dynamic link library (.dll) containing application resources, e.g. menus, dialog boxes, icons, and messages. In well-internationalized applications, resource-only .dll files are combined with single worldwide binaries to enable users to run applications in any locale.

Resource Script (RC) file - A text file containing descriptions of resources from which the resource compiler creates a binary resource file. For Microsoft Windows applications, resource-definition files usually have a .RC filename extension.

RFP - See Request for proposal.

RFQ - See Request for question.

Romaji - Characters used to write Japanese sounds with Roman letters.

Screen capture - Picture of interface item of a software application, for example a dialog box or menu item.

Screenshot - See Screen capture.

Segmentation - Division of text into translatable unites, Such as sentences or paragraphs. Most translation memory tools contain customizable segmentation rules.

SGML - See Standard Generalized Markup language.

Shortcut key - See Control key.

Simplified Chinese - Chinese ideographs used in mainland China and Singapore. Compared to traditional Chinese .Simplified Chinese has thousands of characters altered by deleting or changing strokes.

Simship - simultaneous release of localized versions with the domestic product, for example English, version. Simship is only possible when the translation cycle starts during development.

Single language vendor (SLV) - Localization vendor that offers translation service to one target language.

Single source publishing - A publishing method where content (text and images) is created once, And published to several different formats, such as PDF, HTML or online help.

Single worldwide binary - One binary or set of binaries that meets the requirements of all user, regardless of language or geographic location. This single source is developed, compiled, and tested by one of team, with no conditional compiles. The text language is either bound into executable file, or is user-callable from separate language.dll files.

SLV - See Single language vendor.

Software consistency-check - A quality assurance step in which translators compare translated software references in online help or documentation files to the actual localized software interface to check whether they match.

Standard Generalized Markup language (SGML) - An international standard for information exchange that prescribes a standard format for using descriptive markup within a document, defining three document layers : structure, content, and style.

Static Web site - A web site that consists mainly of HTML pages with text and graphics that are manually updated. The concept of the "static" web site contrasts the evolution of the dynamic web site.

Stop List - A list of frequently used words, such as tbe and or, which will not be included in a search index, for example the search index created for an online help file or a set of PDF files.

TDB - See Terminology Database.

Termbase - See Terminology Database.

Terminology Database (TDB, Termbase) - A data collection that defines concept, generally in a specific specialized subject field, and documents the terms associated with those concepts.

Terminology management system (TMS) - Software application that stores and encodes terminology resources in dictionaries. Examples of terminology management systems are STAR TermStar and Trados MultiTerm.

Text expansion - A feature of translated text where some languages use more text or longer words to express ideas than was the case in the source language. German or French texts, for example, are on average 30% longer than English texts.

Tier - See Language tier.

TM - See Translation memory.

TMS - See Terminology management system.

TMX - See Translation Memory Exchange.

Traditional Chinese - Chinese ideographs used in Taiwan and Hong Kong Differences with Simplified Chinese include character encoding schemes, terminology, and linguistic style.

Translation memory (TM) - Translation memory is a technology that enables the user to store phrases or sentences in a database.

Translation Memory Exchange (TMX) - An open standard, based on XML, which has been designed by a group of tool developers to simplify and automate the process of converting translation memories from one format to another.

Translation Portal - Web site that offers automated translation workflow solutions, where translation jobs can be automatically distributed to freelance translators, using the latest in translation technology. Examples of translation portals are and

UI - See User Interface.

Unicode - A 16-bit character set capable of encoding all know characters and used as a worldwide character-encoding standard.

User Interface (UI) - All element s of a software application used to interact with the user, such as dialog boxes, menus, and message.

UTF-8 - An encoding from of Unicode that supports ASCII for backward compatibility and covers the characters for most languages in the world.
UTF-8 is short for 8-bit Unicode Transfer Format.

W3C - See World Wide Web Consortium.

Windows Help (WinHelp) - An online help system which consists of a compiled .hlp with a .cnt continents file. Windows Help files are created by creating sets of RTF files and bitmap images.

WinHelp - See windows Help.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - The organization that considers and approves additions and updates to the HTML and SGML standard within the framework of the internet or World Wide Web. For more information, visit

XML - See Extensible Markup Language.

XSL - See Extensible Stylesheet Language.