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API stands for Application Program Interface. An API is a set of instructions that lay out the rules that must be followed if two computer programs are to talk to each other.

Acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another.

Stands for Computer Aided Translation. This is a broad classification encompassing software tools used in the translation process. Includes TM (Translation Memory) and localization tools.

Character Set
A defined list of characters recognized by the computer hardware and software. Each character is represented by a number. The ASCII character set, for example, uses the numbers 0 through 127 to represent all English characters as well as special control characters. European ISO character sets are similar to ASCII, but they contain additional characters for European languages.

The process of making all the necessary technical, financial, managerial, personnel, marketing, and other enterprise decisions necessary to facilitate localization. Products have to be globalized before they are localized. A well-globalized product is one that has been enabled at a technical level for localization. In other words a globalized product does not require remedial engineering or redesign, as opposed to adaptation to a specific local language or platform.

Stands for Graphical User Interface. This is the software component that the user sees on the PC screen when operating a software application.

Human Translator
Human translators are native speakers who physically translate the text themselves which results in a 100% accurate translation vs. the 70% accurate translation that you get from machine translation.

Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the authoring language used in the creation of documents for the World Wide Web. HTML was initially created for use as a universal common document language for the World Wide Web. It indicates the type of information rather than the exact way it is to be presented. The actual presentation is left to the software that converts the contents to a suitable format for viewing. Text in an HTML document can be translated on-the-fly by a machine translator whereas text embedded in images and graphics (gifs, jpegs) must be localized.

The conversion of a product into the Japanese language and character set. There are 4 character sets used in Japanese computer text: hiragana, katakana, kanji and romaji (English alphabet.) Sometimes kanji characters have ruby aka furigana ("attached character") annotation above them to aid in irregular or difficult readings of personal or geographics names and for school children. Mojibake means "scrambled character" and is used to describe the unreadable appearance of electronic displays when the wrong character decoding is used. Because kanji may have multiple readings (meanings) depending on context, machine conversion to hiragana is unreliable. The kinsoku rule says that Japanese sentences are separated by periods that may not wrap to the beginning of a line.

Internalization, which are the technical aspects (character sets, date formats, sorting, number formatting, string resources) of supporting multiple locales in one product. Roughly, i18N is considered an engineering process while L10N is considered a translation process.

Internationalization is the process of designing an application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Sometimes the term internationalization is abbreviated as i18n, because there are 18 letters between the first "i" and the last "n".

Localization, which are the practical aspects (language, custom, fashion, color, etc. ) of expressing an application in a particular locale. Roughly, i18N is considered an engineering process while L10N is considered a translation process.

Language Pair
Language pair is the term used to denote the source language and the target language involved in text translation. The source language is translated into the target language. For example the language pair English-French (en-fr) means that English will be translated into French. Language pairs are often abbreviated to the shorter two character form which is identical to the ISO language code definitions eg. en-fr (English to French), en-de (English to German).

Localization is the process of adapting software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. The term localization is often abbreviated as l10n, because there are 10 letters between the "l" and the "n". Usually, the most time-consuming portion of the localization phase is the translation of text. Other types of data, such as sounds and images, may require localization if they are culturally sensitive. Localizers also verify that the formatting of dates, numbers, and currencies conforms to local requirements. The localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) defines localization as "the process of modifying products or services to account for differences in distinct markets".

Machine Translation
Machine translation (MT) is the automatic translation of human language by computers. For instance, an English --> German MT system translates English (the source language) into German (the target language). With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, and ever-expanding international communication and commerce, there is an increasing need for quick and inexpensive translation. New Web pages are created daily in tremendous numbers, and many Web page authors would like their material to be readable immediately all around the globe. Likewise, there is need for fast e-mail communication between speakers of different languages.
It is difficult to keep up with the volume via human translation alone.

Machine translation has been under development in universities and industry for several years -- essentially since the advent of programmable computers. MT is a difficult problem, mainly because human language is so ambiguous and so full of special constructions and exceptions to rules.
In some cases it is impossible to arrive at a correct translation without using everyday knowledge of the world and reasoning ability that only humans have.

On-Line Help
A form of written documentation typically associated with software products, presented in electronic format for viewing online. Context-sensitive On-Line Help allows users to call up information pertinent to the feature they are currently operating by clicking a mouse key or pressing a key on their keyboard.

Professional Human Translation
Is the translation of text by accredited native language professional translators. Translation by professional translators is more accurate than machine translation, however, it is usually more expensive and requires more resources than machine translation.

Rich Text Format (RTF)
A standard formalized by Microsoft Corporation for specifying formatting of documents. RTF files are actually ASCII files with special commands to indicate formatting information, such as fonts and margins.

Source Language
The specified original language of a document, web page or email before it is translated.

Text (TXT)
Data presented with alphanumeric characters, usually in the form of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Typically, the term text refers to pure text stored as ASCII codes (that is, without any formatting). Objects that are not text include graphics, numbers (if they're not stored as ASCII characters), and program code.

Target Language
The specified language a document is to be translated into (the resulting translation).

The process of transforming text from one language into another language.

Translation Memory
A Translation Memory is a database where a translator records translations for future reuse. The TM divides the text to be translated in segments (sentences) and presents the segments in a convenient way, to make translating easier and faster. Source text and translation will always be treated and presented as a translation unit (TU). Newly encountered segments are compared to the database content, and the resulting output (exact, fuzzy or no match) is reviewed and completed by the translator. There are special functions which help to navigate through the text and to find segments which need to be translated or revised (quality control).

Stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is designed to improve the functionality of the Web by providing more flexible and adaptable information identification. It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format like HTML (a single, predefined markup language). Instead, XML is actually a metalanguage -a language for describing other languages-which lets you design your own customized markup languages for limitless different types of documents. XML can do this because it's written in SGML, the international standard metalanguage for text markup systems (ISO 8879).


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