CAT tool (translation tool)

A computer-assisted translation tool helps linguists and project managers to increase translation productivity and consistency. A human being still does the job, but he or she is supported by a machine to reduce the number of repetitive tasks.

File preparation

Not all source files are immediately ready for translation. An accurate translation starts with an accurate source. File preparation is the art of improving the source text file, to avoid issues later on in the translation process. This includes:

  • correcting typos and incorrect punctuation
  • fixing wrong line breaks (the bane of all CAT tools!)
  • checking for possible ambiguity in the message and clarifying it with the client
  • identifying possible linguistic issues

A single hour spent on file preparation before translation could save many hours of repair afterwards!

Lights-out workflow

By its official definition, a lights-out workflow is a fully automated work process, with raw materials entering and finished products leaving a company with no human intervention. In the business of language services, where at least part of the product is human creativity, the concept of lights-out refers to a workflow that requires no human intervention to move the work from one stage to the next. In other words, after an automatic submittal of the source file from the customer to a translator, the translator’s work flows automatically to the reviser, then on to the reviewer and finally back to the client – without any involvement of a project manager.

At Attached, a light-out workflow allows us to focus on what we do best: play with languages and help our customers reach their local target audiences. By using our Attached portal, with most administrative work and project management tasks fully automated, we can concentrate on supporting our clients with our creativity, language knowledge and communications skills.


Localisation is sometimes used as a synonym for translation, but it actually entails a bit more: in addition to presenting a certain message in a different language, it also includes adapting this presentation to the target culture or country. Examples of such adaption include changing metric data to imperial and recalculating amounts to the local currency. During the localisation process, we also advise taking into account the colours and visuals used to accompany a message – you can make or break the effectiveness of your message by using the right (or wrong) accompanying design features.

Localisation Maturity Curve

The Localisation Maturity Curve© is a path that companies follow to improve their communications processes in such a way that they eventually reach the ultimate degree of localisation. These are the common stages that a business goes through in their journey towards the localisation maturity: reactive, repeatable, managed, optimised and transparent.
© Common Sense Advisory

Machine translation

Machine translation (MT) is an automatic translation, done by a special engine such as Google Translate, Iconic translation machines or even a personalised solution. Thanks also to the advanced possibilities of Neural MT, the days when MT only gave sloppy output are behind us, even though for many languages we’re still far away from perfection. However, there are many uses for MT, from simply getting a rough idea of what a text is about, to translating catalogues with mostly factual data, or using MT output as a source for subsequent post-editing by a professional human linguist.

Native speaker translation

A ‘native speaker translation’ is a translation made by a linguist whose mother tongue is equal to the target language. All Attached translations are native speaker translations, with the majority of translators also living and working in the country where the target language is spoken. This way, we can ensure that our work consists of current day language, close to the hearts of the local target group.


During a review, and usually following a revision, a linguist assesses the translation as an independent text. This way we can make sure that the text is not only a truthful representation of the source text, but also reads fluently and doesn’t sound like a translation. Moreover, the content can be further fine-tuned for a certain end user group (i.e. people of a certain profession, age group, etc.).


Even though translators might sometimes seem like superheroes, they are still only human. That’s why translations should always be checked before being published or distributed. A revision is when a (different) linguist checks the translation on:

  • interpretation
  • spelling
  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • completeness

This check is done taking into account the source text and is therefore also referred to as a bilingual check.

Sanity check

While the exact meaning of the concept of a “sanity check” may depend on the context it is used in, in the communications sector it refers to the final check of copy and design before publication. This check usually includes for example the verification of hyphens, text length (especially of headers), hyperlinks, etc.

Sworn translation

Translations of documents used for formal purposes usually need to be certified by a sworn translator. A sworn translation is a translation officially signed and stamped by a sworn translator and accompanied by the translator’s statement testifying to the truthfulness of the translation.

Term base

A term base is a multilingual glossary that can be used in translation tools. Most of the time we create such a term base together with the customer.


Transcreation refers to the process of translating a message, while at the same recreating and optimising it for your local target group. In essence, the message stays the same, but the form changes depending on what appeals more to the people of a certain culture. Increasingly, transcreation is used in global marketing and advertising campaigns as advertisers seek to really touch the hearts of their target group, transcending the boundaries of culture and language.

Translation memory

A translation memory is a linguistic database that continually captures translation segments during the translation process for future use. This way the translation team can work more productively and consistently.

Let us know if you need more information, examples of what we can do for you or a free quote.