I can’t make heads or tails of it – Technical Terms Part 1


Abbreviations and acronyms in the translation industry generally originate in the English language and are not necessarily self-explanatory. Here we explain of some of the most frequently used abbreviations.

ICR (In Country Review)

A review of the translation by a native speaker living in the target group region.
This is often done by the sales or marketing manager of the foreign branch of a company, who has excellent knowledge of the product, services, and form of address in the target market. ICR feedback improves the collaboration with the translator, improves quality over the medium term, and prevents extensive post-processing.


Term used for a question during the translation project.
Depending on the quality of the text, specialization of the topic, or pursued objective, it is possible that questions arise during the translation work. Complex translation projects for which many files must be translated into several languages require sophisticated query management, which the project manager uses to control the flow of information. Query management is closely tied to terminology and memory management and plays a key role in quality assurance.

CAT (Computer Assisted Translation)

Computer assisted translation is done by humans with the help of computer programs.
Unlike MT, these programs do not translate automatically but assist the translator in the translation process by providing stored translation units (translation memory) and terminology databases. CAT tools help optimize quality, delivery times, and costs.

MT (Machine Translation)

Translation done by machines.
In machine translation, computer software translates a text from one natural language into another natural language. Complex rules are developed because word-for-word translations rarely provide comprehensible results. Acceptable results can now be achieved for highly standardized texts (depending on the language combination). All such translations must be post-processed by a human translator.

ML (Machine Learning)

Machines that learn.MT in combination with auto-adaptive ML offers a new paradigm. Such systems learn from the experience, the intelligence, and the findings of their human users. They increase productivity, offer suggestions, and increase accuracy over time. The Californian company Lilt, a start-up of Stanford University and partner of FaustTranslations.com, is working on this innovative technology, which will define the translation industry in the future.


Design guideline that describes how a translation should be laid out.
The style guide creates consistency among different texts and thus helps create or secure the corporate identity. Wording and presentation is standardized.

The style guide may, for example, specify grammar rules, fonts and font size to be used, as well as the format for captions, etc. Some style guides are more than 100 pages of instructions and examples (e.g. Microsoft). In practice, a much smaller style guide usually is sufficient.

You can find part 2 of our series on our blog.

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