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What is localization engineering? Why the word “engineering”?

Localization engineering is a central component of the localization process. Localization engineers are responsible for all the technical aspects of the process: project preparation and setup, compilation and resizing, supporting linguists and project managers, creating screenshots, and testing.The word “engineering” is used because people responsible for the technical aspects of localization must be technically inclined and have an in-depth knowledge of various operating systems, utilities, translation tools, development environments and localization models. They must also understand how a particular software application works and have experience in industry-standard development and programming environments e.g. Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland Delphi, Java Development Kit, and experience in using and selecting the appropriate CAT tools, and writing, adding to and testing the functionality of the localized application.

What is DTP?

DTP stands for Desktop Publishing. DTP is formatting the layout of text and images on a computer before they are converted to paper or an on-line format. It also includes graphic localization (creation and editing of graphics and diagrams).

What does Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) mean?

(Also referred to as project sizing) When a client sends a request to analyze the product for localization in order to establish how quickly and at what cost a localized version can be delivered. The report sent back to the client could include the following:

  • cost breakdown (total word count, external matches, internal matches, etc.)
  • time estimates
  • resources needed: translators, proofreaders, localization engineers, DTP and QA specialists
  • preliminary schedule with list of deliverables
  • company info
  • list of potential issues, etc.

What is text expansion?

A feature of translated text whereby some languages require more text or longer words than the source language. Polish, for example expands 20% when translated from English.

What is alignment?

Creating a translation memory database based on an already translated document by matching segments (phrases) of the source language version to the translated version.

What are internal repetitions?

Words that are repeated within the same document (100% matches). They only need to be translated once.

What are 100% matches?

100% matches are also called full or perfect matches, and describe terms for translation in a new document that perfectly match phrases in a translation memory database. For example, if the phrase ‘Click OK to display messages’ in a new document for translation can also be found in the database, it is a perfect match.

What are fuzzy matches?

A method used in translation memory tools to identify text segments that do not match previously translated segments perfectly. This approach allows translations of similar texts to be leveraged. For example, ‘Click OK to display messages’ is a 75% fuzzy match with ‘Click OK to display changes’.

What is leveraging?

This is the amount (percentage) of material that has already been translated when compared with the content of a new file that is to be translated.

Why should I use Translation Memory?

Using translation memory tools allows you to save time on translating, use consistent terminology across many documents and texts, and save money. For more information, see Translation Memory.

What is a glossary and how does it differ from a term base (TDB)?

A glossary is a bilingual list that contains keywords and phrases. Termbase (TDB or terminology database) is a list that contains definitions and terms associated with a specific specialized subject field.

What is the difference between translation memory and machine translation?

Translation memory (TM) should not be confused with machine translation (MT). The major difference is that in machine translation a computer translates the text, while in translation memory systems, the computer only stores translated sentences. An MT system attempts to replace a translator, whereas a TM system supports and assists the translator with the translation process.

What is a Machine Translation (MT) tool?

MT stands for Machine Translation. A technology used to automate translations, whereby a machine does the translating instead of a translator.

What is a TM tool?

TM stands for Translation Memory. TM tools are designed to recycle previously created translations. Many TM tools exist: SDLX, Trados, Transit, DejaVu and others.

What is Translation Memory – TM?

Translation Memory, TM for short, is a solution that increases efficiency by reusing previously translated phrases and sentences. This technology enables Argos Translations to store translated phrases and sentences (segments) in a special database that translators can utilize for new translation projects. With the use of translation memory tools we can also estimate the size of the translation and the number of internal repetitions, and on that basis can plan the translation project framework.

What is a CAT tool?

CAT stands for Computer Aided Translation. CAT is a technology that automates the translation process and supports translators in translating. CAT tools can be categorized as follows:

  • Translation memory tools
  • Terminology tools
  • Software localization tools

What is the difference between translation and localization?

Localization is much more than translation. Translation is just one aspect of the localization process. The localization process continues after the translatable parts of the product (e.g. software) have been translated. The translated text has to be imported back into the software application, graphics have to be adapted to suit the needs of the target language audience, changes to the user interface structure might have to be made, the software has to be tested, and a final QA must be performed.

What is localization (L10n)?

Localization is the conversion of a product (software, website, on-line help, documentation) from its source language to the target language in which the product will be used – which includes making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target culture.


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