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As with any sector, translation has its own set of commonly used terms. So for the benefit of those new to the industry, we’re including a few basic terms for reference. Lingo24 has created a useful micro-glossary of commonly used translation terms. Great for translation veterans and those new to the industry. 


    • Interpreting: the process of transferring one spoken language into another spoken language, either simultaneously or consecutively.
    • Language pairing (or language combination): the languages between which a translator (or interpreter) works. Some translators will offer several pairings, with the source languages varying but their native language remaining as target language. Most professional translators offer only one target language, since very few people are truly bilingual.
    • Source language: the language in which the original source document (intended for translation) is written.
    • Target language: the language into which the original source document is translated.
    • Transcreation: a freer form of translation, probably closer to copywriting, the result of which is a text linguistically and culturally adapted for specific countries and/or regions. Transcreated material should have a similar impact on the target readership in the foreign country as the original source text (whereas translated material may still be clearly intended for use in the country where the document originated).
    • Translation: the process of transferring a written text from one source language into one or more target language(s).
    • Translation memory software: technology that prompts translators with relevant excerpts from previous translations when they are translating a new text.