Knowledge Translated: All Things Language Services

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Have you ever stared blankly at a page containing scientific, technical or medical text? These documents are full of specialized terminology that can make anyone’s head spin. Technical fields practically have their own language.  Just try reading a medical text in your native tongue without any prior knowledge, and you will see just how difficult it can be!

Then add translation to the mix. Think about a medical text and all of the specialized terminology that it contains. To properly translate a medical document, you will not only need to know the two languages, but also understand the “language” of medicine. 

Technical texts are dense with uncommon, specialized terms; non-specialists don't see things like "ventricular tachycardia" every day. Keeping track of all the terms during a translation and staying consistent with those terms throughout a text during the translation process can be a challenge (especially when there are 20,000+ words to get through).

What is Terminology Management? 

Terminology management is the process of documenting terms in a systematized and orderly fashion. The process can be as simple as creating a list of terms that appear in a text and their equivalents in the target languages, or as complex as creating concept maps and diagrams of how terms are related to each other. In the middle would be a list of terms and equivalents, plus term definitions and perhaps even examples of contextual usage of the terms.


Often when we ask our clients what type of Spanish they need for a translation project, they simply say "Just give me the best Spanish." Once we explain that there is no "best," they move on to request a "universal Spanish," which is also an impossible task.

Spanish is the most widely spoken romance language and has the second most native speakers in the world. Most Spanish speakers live in Central and South America, and 21 countries list it as their national language. Spain has a population of 39 million, and Mexico has 100 million. Argentina has 36 million people and Chile 15 million. 

With all the different Spanish speakers in the world, there is no one "best" type of Spanish. Spanish speakers from disparate areas recognize differences in a variety of ways. It is important to know the different types of Spanish and the best on suited to your target audience so that your project can be translated and localized accordingly. 

Keep reading for an exploration of the differences between Spanish spoken by people around the world and how they impact your translation, localization or interpreting project.


Have you ever been asked to have a back translation and reconciliation done for your forward translation and you weren’t sure what that means or why it was necessary?

Back translation and reconciliation services give you additional quality and accuracy assurance for your most sensitive translation and localization projects. Both back translation and reconciliation become important when you have high value content that you need translated across languages with as much certainty as possible that the exact meaning is conveyed.

Back translations and reconciliations can be performed for all types of translation and localization projects. 

Keep reading for an overview of both back translation and reconciliation and an exploration into why these can be important.


This past week two interpreters made big news headlines, neither one of them was certified, but the reactions to them has been very different.  

The first interpreter (Thamsanqa Jantjie) has been decried internationally by Deaf individuals whose reactions have ranged from confused to offended regarding his “interpreting performance” at Nelson Mandela’s memorial.  

The second interpreter was a little 5-year-old girl (Claire Koch) who has been called a hero for signing the holiday songs her kindergarten class performed for her Deaf parents.  

Each highlights the importance of audience consideration and interpreter quality—not to mention qualifications—and both can teach us important lessons about how to select qualified interpreters


A word of advice to anyone considering a translation or localization project, be sure to employ and then thank your Project Manager.

Having a qualified Project Manager is essential to any translation and localization project. The Project Manager (or PM) does much to facilitate multilingual language projects and can save you a lot of time, stress and resources by ensuring that translation and localization projects run smoothly.

Project Management is essentially risk mitigation. Translation and localization projects have lots of “moving parts” and lots of areas where something can go wrong. Project Managers take on the risks that come naturally with these projects, freeing you from unnecessary problems, pressures and anxiety, while improving both the process and the final outcome.

What Does A Translation Or Localization Project Manager Do?

A translation or localization Project Manager is responsible for overall schedule and budget performance, selection and management of the translation team, ensuring the quality of translation work, and serving as the primary point of contact for the client throughout the project. The Project Manager’s responsibilities include verification of the completeness of the source document at the start of the project, delivering status reports to the client and timely delivery of the document/file. Some PMs may also be responsible for negotiating rates from your translation team and for managing invoices.