Terms commonly used in the world of translation


Have you always wanted to know what gender-sensitive language means or would you like to find out more about the various certification procedures? Below is a list of terms commonly used in the field of translation. We hope that you find it informative.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Send us a mail or give us a call.

Official documents intended for use abroad require an apostille or certificate of authentication.

In the case of translations for submission to foreign authorities, the apostille or certificate of authentication is a verification of the authenticity of the notarial certification.

The apostille is a form of superordinate authentication or certification. It is only valid in countries that are signatories of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.
In the case of official original documents or notarially certified translations (or signatures) created in the canton of Zurich, the apostille or certification is issued by the State Chancellery of the Canton of Zurich.

(see also Notarially certified translation, Certifications and consular services)

Machine translation, sometimes referred to by the abbreviation MT (not to be confused with computer-aided translation, machine-aided human translation or interactive translation), is a sub-field of computational linguistics. (Source: Wikipedia [23.01.2023])

(See also Editing and proofreading)

CAT tools (computer-assisted translation) refer to software applications that support the translation process. The term should not be confused with “machine translation”, which refers to the automatic translation of a text. CAT tools and the resources that they command enable the task of translation to be carried out more efficiently.

The texts for translation are opened in the software and all translated text is saved in a translation memory comprised of matching segments of source and target text, which serves as a (customer-specific) basis for ongoing and future translations. This approach ensures consistency across projects and translations and is an important component of quality assurance.

(see also Quality assurance, Editing and proofreading)

Alongside other services such as consulting, translation and obtaining of apostilles, we now also offer to take over all administrative consular matters relating to the Consulate of Italy. This includes making appointments, payment of consular fees, submission of necessary documents as well as translation on behalf of the consulate.

Please pay us a visit or get in touch – we will be happy to assist you.

(see also Translations for the Consulate of Italy in Zurich)

This is the specific style of language chosen by a company. It can also be understood as the corporate identity. It includes language style, terminology and even imagery.

(see also Translations)

A cost estimate is a definition of the scope of the expected price for a translation or language service. However, the final cost is calculated on the basis of the actual required effort – either the number of standard lines or the hourly input.

(See also Offer, Quotation, Prices)

The delivery deadline is agreed when the order is confirmed. This is binding. In very rare cases, delays in delivery can occur, mostly as a result of events beyond the control of Interna Translations. In such cases, the customer will be informed in good time.

(See also Translations)

The dual control principle safeguards quality and is founded on the cooperation between the translator and the editor. Four eyes see more than two – and help to avoid careless mistakes.
At Interna Translations, we check every translation according to the dual control principle. Here, the translated text is carefully compared with the source text in order to identify and eliminate any discrepancies.

(See also Quality assurance, Translations)

The process of editing always includes proofreading (a final check of spelling, grammar and punctuation). A check is also carried out of style, linguistic subtleties and nuances, as well as regionally specific characteristics.

Among other aspects, this includes replacing repeated words with synonyms, adapting introductory phrases and untangling convoluted sentences.

(see also Proofreading, Editing and proofreading)

Do you need an express delivery? In such cases, a surcharge of between 25% and 100% is applied, depending on your requirements and the desired delivery deadline.

(see also Delivery deadline, Prices)

Freelance translators are not contractually employed but take on individual assignments on behalf of one or more clients.

(see also Languages)

Opinions differ greatly on gender-sensitive language and to this day there is no uniform approach. Although there is commonly accepted usage of some terms, gender-sensitive language is handled differently by different institutions and countries.

The Swiss Federal Chancellery Central Language Services state that official publications and other federal texts must be formulated in a manner that is appropriate, clear and citizen-friendly, and must comply with the principles of linguistic parity between the sexes.

However, gender markings should be explicitly avoided, such as the gender star (Übersetzer becomes Übersetzer*in), the gender colon (Übersetzer:in), the gender gap (Übersetzer_in) and the gender mediodot (Übersetzer·in) on the grounds that these markings remain “strongly experimental”(1) and are “not suited to the fulfilment of these purposes”.

Nevertheless, these markings are used purposely and consistently by other people, companies, publications or institutions, if not necessarily uniformly. The decision as to whether and how gender-sensitive language should be implemented is founded predominantly on socio-political considerations.

In addition, the different terms are highly language-specific and vary from one language to another. For example, French, Italian and English take very different approaches.

The topic is likely to remain topical for some time as it encompasses highly relevant questions and concerns.

At Interna Translations, it is important for us to remain informed about developments and to reflect the latest knowledge and understanding. In this way, we strive to give our customers the best possible guidance and advice. Gender-sensitive language is applied according to customers’ needs and wishes.

(1) See: Umgang mit dem Genderstern und ähnlichen Schreibweisen in deutschsprachigen Texten des Bundes, Weisung und Erläuterungen der Bundeskanzlei vom 15. Juni 2021 (Handling of the gender star and similar forms in German-language texts of the Swiss federal government, directives and clarifications of the Federal Chancellery of June 15, 2021 – PDF, German only)

Some customers provide us with their own glossary. This allows us to adopt customer-specific terminology and ensures consistency between texts.

(see also Specialist terminology, Quality assurance)

The most requested language combinations are the national languages German, French, Italian and English, either as source or target languages. Other requested European languages are Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Ukrainian and Greek.

Interna Translations translates in over 50 languages. Ask for your desired language combination.

(See also Languages, Contact)

At Interna Translation, the price of a translation is usually calculated on the basis of the total number of standard lines, namely the total number of characters in a text, including spaces.

The price per line is between CHF 2.70 and CHF 4.50, depending on the language combination, degree of complexity and specialisation, and the subject matter of the text.

(See also Prices)

Localisation refers to the editing of text content (in most cases relating to user interfaces) to fulfil the requirements of a specific target audience. For example, the translation of a website in which language aspects and cultural traits and characteristics must be taken into account.

(See also Translations)

A notarial certification verifies the authenticity of a signature on a document.

(see also Notarially certified translation, Certifications and consular services)

A notarial certification is often required when official documents issued abroad require translation into a national language before submission to official authorities. It is a verification of the authenticity of the translator’s signature.

Or vice versa – perhaps you require documents in the local language of a foreign country. In most cases, a notarial certification is also required in order for documents to be recognised in the respective country.

(see also Apostille or certificate of authentication, Certifications and consular services)

If the client wants to know in advance how much a particular translation or language service will cost, we will prepare a non-binding quotation. This is calculated on the basis of the volume of text to be translated and the price per standard line, excluding VAT. If the order is confirmed, the price offered in the quotation is binding.

Very occasionally, deviations from the offer must be factored in, in particular if the actual required effort is significantly greater than estimated. In such cases, we will always consult with the customer before the order is invoiced.

(See also Quotation, Prices)

Post-editing consists of the checking and correction by a linguist of machine-translated texts. A distinction is made between light and full post-editing:

  • Full post-editing results in a translation quality comparable to that of a human translation (a grammatically, syntactically and semantically correct translation with correct and consistent terminology and formatting and no inappropriate content)
  • Light post-editing results in a coherent translation (semantically correct translation with possible slight imperfections in grammar and syntax), with extensive adoption of the machine-translated content (saving on costs) and no stylistic corrections.

(see also Editing and Proofreading, Blog /German only)

A print proof refers to a file that is ready for printing. The final check is carried out using a PDF file and is the last step before printing. At Interna Translations, only the text layer is reviewed, e.g. hyphenation or the layout of texts or sections.

(See also Quality assurance, Editing and Proofreading)

Proofreading is the checking and correction of the spelling, grammar and punctuation of a text.

At Interna Translations, we also check that the translated text corresponds 1:1 to the source text. For example, whether every word or sentence is reflected in the translation, and whether figures, factual details and names have been adopted correctly.

(see also Editing and proofreading)

The practice of quality assurance ensures the high quality of a product or service. At Interna Translations, the quality of all translations as well as other language services is always reviewed with the utmost care.

Among other aspects, this includes a check for the completeness of documents (dual control principle), which is carried out before delivery. It is also possible to request an additional proofreading or editing step.

(see also Dual control principle, Proofreading and Editing)

If the client wants to know in advance how much a particular translation or language service will cost, we will prepare a non-binding quotation. This is calculated on the basis of the volume of text to be translated and the price per standard line, excluding VAT. If the order is confirmed, the price offered in the quotation is binding.

In some cases, deviations from the offer are factored in, in particular if the actual required effort is significantly greater than estimated. In this case, we will always consult with the customer before the order is invoiced.

(See also Offer, Cost estimate, Prices)

Over many years, Interna Translations has built up a dependable team of freelance, highly qualified specialist translators who only translate in their specialist fields and into their mother tongue. We strive to nurture a working environment that is characterised by open and transparent communication with our translators.

(see also Languages)

(see also Languages, Source text, Target text)

The text that serves as the basis for the translation is called the source text or initial text. The result of the translation is referred to as the target text.

(see also Target text)

This term is often used to distinguish the translation of texts drawn from specialised fields such as medicine, finance, environmental science, etc. from literary translations. In such cases, only translators specialised in the respective area are used.

(see also Translations)

Translators often specialise in certain fields and are thus experts or working towards expertise in one or more subjects. They are familiar with the specificities and peculiarities of these fields and are well acquainted with the technical terms. At Interna Translations, we work exclusively with specialist translators.

(See also Specialist translation, Translations)

(or Editorial guidelines)

These are editorial specifications that are aimed at maintaining uniformity across texts and publications within a business or institution. Among other aspects, they concern the use of specific verb forms, punctuation, foreign words and gender-sensitive language.

As a language service provider, Interna Translations is happy to adopt company-specific style guides.

Interna speaks your language. True to our slogan, we orient ourselves towards the language(s) of our customers. Whether it’s corporate or technical language, we take care to adopt the appropriate professional and customer-specific language, resulting in a style of text that is coherent and consistent for customers and readers, and which is in keeping with the context.

(see also Style guide, Translations)

The finished text, namely the result of the translation, is called the target text.

(see also Source text)

A terminology database is a repository of terms and related information (e.g. definitions, additional context, etc.). Most terminology databases are multilingual and can be used for any translation. The use of term databases is an important component of quality assurance.

(see also Quality assurance)

If you are interested in our services, we will be happy to offer you a test translation – see for yourself whether the style of the translation is what you or your business is looking for.

(See also Contact, Home)

We can devise creative language ideas and solutions for your advertising and slogans. Our language talents will be happy to help – give us a try.

(See also Translations)

Emilia Merola is a project manager and translator at Interna and an officially recognised translator at the Consulate of Italy in Zurich. Emilia will be happy to provide you with competent support with matters relating to the Consulate of Italy.

(See also Consular Services for the Consulate of Italy)

A translation memory is a database that contains the paired source and target texts of each translated segment. At Interna Translations, a translation memory is created for each individual customer. This ensures that customer-specific terms and phrases are used consistently and is an important part of quality assurance.

(See also Quality assurance)