Translation, Localization, and Interpreting

Standards for the translation, localization, and interpreting sectors facilitate interoperability of tools and file formats, and compatibility and harmonization of the industry in diverse global markets. In this Part, the term "translation" includes the idea of "localization", which refers to the process of translating and adapting content for a specific target market, and is often used in the software translation sector.

As translation work became more and more computerised through the development of computer assisted translation software, standards had to be defined to address more technical aspects such as file formats and data interchange. The key localization formats -- XLIFF, TMX, TBX, and SRX -- are fairly complementary in their purpose and scope. The focus of XLIFF is to simplify the handling of file formats and facilitate localization work flow. The purpose of TMX is to increase portability of translation memories among tools. SRX addresses a different aspect of translation memory portability: segmentation. And TBX is specifically designed for terminology databases.

Developers of these standards collaborate to avoid the risk of duplication and overlap. TBX and XLIFF have adopted TMX styles for enclosing markup tags. TBX uses data categories and XML styles proposed by ISO TC 37. TMX will be improved once SRX and a standard set of segmentation rules are defined.

Translation project management standards enable translation and localization service providers to apply objective measurements and criteria in areas such as job sizing and billing, quality assessment, and contracts. Furthermore, file interchange standards ensure that content subject to translation and localization can be easily exchanged from client to service provider, and from authoring software to translation software, without corruption or loss of data.

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