Learning the Lingo: Translation Industry Acronyms Explained

Posted by Sophia Barnhart

Expanding into BRICS but can’t find an MLV LSP that offers RTT through their CMS? Acronyms can be especially tough, as they’re often used frequently in the translation industry yet without explanation. When looking into translation or localization services, it’s easy to get lost in translation while doing the research. Before even addressing the translation needs of your company, it’s critical to know the industry lingo beforehand. Whether the terms refer to application systems or geographical regions, here is a list of frequently used acronyms to help you brush up your industry knowledge:

BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa

The grouping of emerging national economies Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa is based on the large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs by these developing countries. The BRICS nations represents approximately 40% of the world population and have a combine nominal GDP of over US $16 trillion(roughly 20% of the gross world product).

CAT: Computer-assisted translation

Computer-assisted translation tools allow translators and linguists to achieve high production volume at a faster turnaround. This in turn decreases cost, increases quality, and maintains consistency.

CMS: Content management system

A content management system provides multiple users the capability to manage (at different levels) a web site–including responsibilities like creating, editing, publishing, and archiving content . Generally, the system consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). CMA allows individuals unfamiliar with HTML to manage content without a web developer. CDA uses and compiles content for website updates.

EMEA: Europe, Middle East, Asia

EMEA is the grouping of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, used as a regional classification of an international company division operating business in those regions.

FIGS: French, Italian, German, Spanish

FIGS refers to the grouping of countries France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. These countries were recognized as the strongest languages to localize a website and marketing collateral into when a business is expanding into the European market.

LSP: Language service provider

Language Service Providers provide a wider range of language, cultural, technical, quality assurance, testing, and even marketing services. Most medium-to-large-sized organizations choose to partner with LSPs since they’re generally the most well-equipped to help them successfully localize multiple sites while meeting complex sets of business and language requirements. Services can either be offered by an MLV (multi-language vendor) like Lionbridge or an SLV (single language vendor).

MINT: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey

Coined by economist Jim O’Neill, MINT includes countries Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey to comprise a new group of promising emerging markets.

MT: Machine translation

Machine, or automated, translation relies on a computer to translate text. MT, unlike CAT, that translates solely with a software tool and without any human participation.

RTT: Real-time translation

Real-time translation allows a user to receive a translation for a process during the actual time that the process occurs(“real time”).

TM: Translation memory

Translation memory is a database that retains preexisting translations to be used by human users during future translations. The software application stores segments (phrases, sentences, etc.) and their corresponding translations.

TMS: Translation management system

Translation management systems are used to automate the process going into localization and translation projects. These systems are generally transparent and allow all users to monitor progress.