40+ Common Abbreviations and Acronyms in the Translation Industry

As with many industries, the translation industry has its fair share of terminology and acronyms, which might seem like gibberish to those unfamiliar with them. To help you better understand some of the more common acronyms, we’ve put together this guide, so you can bookmark it for quick reference.


AVT: Audiovisual Translation

Translation of audiovisual content, including subtitles and voice-over for movies, series, and TV shows.

BT: Back Translation

Translating a text back to the source language to verify accuracy and fidelity to the original meaning.

DTP: Desktop Publishing

Preparing translated text to visually match the original format, important for documents and digital media.

HT: Human Translation

Human translators provide accurate and contextually appropriate translations, ensuring the original meaning is preserved.

MT: Machine Translation

MT is the use of computer software to translate text from one language to another. Some examples of MT software are OpenAI, DeepL, Google Translate or Bing Microsoft Translator.

MTPE: Machine Translation Post Editing

Human editors refine machine-translated texts, improving readability and correcting errors for a more polished result.

OPI: Over-the-Phone Interpreting

Remote interpretation service connecting speakers via phone, useful for immediate and diverse language needs.

OSI: On-Site Interpreting

Interpretation performed in person, providing immediate and direct communication support.

RSI: Remote Simultaneous Interpreting

Real-time interpretation done remotely, often used for conferences and large events.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing content so that keywords appear more frequently, making the text more visible to search engines.

TEP: Translation, Editing, and Proofreading

This comprehensive process ensures high-quality translations through multiple review stages, improving style, readability, and accuracy.

T&I: Translation and Interpreting

Translators work with written text, while interpreters translate spoken language, each requiring distinct skills and methodologies.

VO: Voice Over

Recording spoken translations over the original audio in videos, ensuring the message reaches the target audience.

VRI: Video Remote Interpreting

Interpretation service is provided via video conferencing, which is useful for remote and immediate language needs.

Areas & Actors

g11n: Globalization

Tailoring products for different markets while maintaining consistency and recognizability on a global scale.

i18n: Internationalization

Designing software and products to be easily adapted for various languages and regions without requiring technical changes.

LSP: Language Service Provider

LSPs offer a range of language services, including translation, localization, and AI solutions. They ensure that your content is accurately adapted to the language and culture of the target audience.

l10n: Localization

Adapting content to meet the cultural, linguistic, and other specific needs of a target audience.

SME: Subject Matter Expert

Specialists with deep knowledge of specific topics, ensuring translations are accurate and contextually appropriate.

SLV/MLV: Single-Language Vendor/Multi-Language Vendor

SLVs specialize in one language pair, while MLVs handle multiple languages, catering to diverse translation needs.

t9n: Translation

The process of converting text from one language to another.


DNT: Do Not Translate

Indicates that certain terms or phrases should remain in the original language, often used for brand names or technical terms.

LP: Language Pair

The combination of source and target languages in a translation project, is essential for planning and execution.

NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement

A legal contract ensures the confidentiality of project details and information.

PM/VM: Project Manager/Vendor Manager

Project managers coordinate translation projects, while vendor managers handle the recruitment and management of translation vendors.

SG: Style Guide

Guidelines for tone, style, and formatting, ensuring consistency across all translated content.

SL/TL: Source Language/Target Language

The original language of the text and the language it is being translated into, respectively.

ST/TT: Source Text/Target Text

The text to be translated and the resulting translated text.

TAT: Turnaround Time

The time required to complete a translation project, often crucial in meeting client deadlines.

TOV: Tone of Voice

The consistent style and personality expressed in translated content, aligning with the brand’s identity.

Tools and Processes

CAT: Computer-Assisted Translation

Software tools that assist human translators in maintaining consistency and quality across translations.

CR/ICR: Contextual Review/In-Context Review

Reviewing translations in their final format to catch contextual errors that might not be evident in isolated text.

LQA/LQE: Linguistic Quality Assurance/Evaluation

Specific checks for linguistic accuracy and appropriateness to ensure translations meet high linguistic standards.

QA/QC: Quality Assurance/Quality Control

Methods used to ensure the final product meets industry standards and client expectations.

TB: Term Base

A database of terms used to ensure consistency in translation, particularly important for technical or specialized texts.

TM: Translation Memory

A database storing previously translated segments, improving efficiency and consistency in future translations.

TMM: Translation Memory Management

Maintaining and updating translation memory databases to ensure they remain accurate and useful.

TMS: Translation Management System

Software used to manage and automate translation workflows, streamlining the entire translation process.

TQC: Translation Quality Control

Procedures for evaluating the quality of translations, identifying and correcting errors.

Industry Associations

ATA: American Translators Association

ATA was established to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of its members. Members include translators, interpreters, teachers, project managers, web and software developers, language company owners, hospitals, universities, and government agencies.

GALA: Globalization and Localization Association

The GALA is a trade association — a nonprofit organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. GALA serves and supports the global language services and technologies industry which comprises translation, interpreting, localization, and the technologies that support such activities.

ITI: Institute of Translation and Interpreting

ITI is the only UK-based independent professional membership association for practicing translators, interpreters and all those involved in the language services sector.

ELIA: European Language Industry Association

ELIA is the European not-for-profit trade association of language service companies with a mission to accelerate our members’ business success. Founded in 2005, we have become the leading trade association for the language services industry in Europe.

At EC Innovations, we don’t just know the lingo, we know how to deliver expert translation and localization solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can help streamline your translation projects and enhance your global communication strategies.

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