Localization acronyms: Deciphering the alphabet soup

At the heart of the localization process lies a lexicon of acronyms and specialized terms, each representing a vital component in the journey to adapt content for diverse markets. This article delves into the world of localization acronyms, unraveling their meanings and shedding light on their significance.


Localization (with “10” representing the 10 letters between “l” and “n” in the word “localization”), the process of adapting content, products, or services to suit the linguistic, cultural, and regional preferences of specific target markets, ensuring they resonate effectively with local audiences.

Read more: Software localization: A comprehensive guide


Internationalization (with “18” representing the 18 letters between “i” and “n” in the word “internationalization”), the proactive design and development of products, software, or content to make them culturally and linguistically adaptable for global audiences, enabling easy localization for different regions and languages.

Read more: Localization vs internationalization: Decoding the differences


Globalization (with “11” representing the 11 letters between “g” and “n” in the word “globalization”), the ongoing interconnectedness of economies, cultures, and societies across the world, driven by increased trade, communication, and the flow of ideas, goods, and services across international borders.

Read more: Globalization vs localization: Two paths, one destination


Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation, a collective term encompassing all aspects of global content management.


Language Service Provider, a company or organization that offers translation and localization services.

Read more: Localization services: an overview


Computer-Assisted Translation, software tools that assist human translators in their work.


Translation Management System, software used to manage translation and localization projects. POEditor, for example.


Translation Memory, a database that stores previously translated segments to aid in consistent translation.

Read more: What is Translation Memory


Machine Translation, the automated translation of text by computer algorithms.

Read more: Machine translation in app and website localization


Machine Translation Post-Editing, the process of improving machine-generated translations.


Translation Environment Tools, software used by translators to aid in the translation process.


Target Operating Environment, the platform or environment where localized content will be used.


Internationalization and Localization Report, a document detailing the requirements for a localization project.


Multi-Byte Character Set, encoding used for languages with complex character representations.


Quality Assurance, the process of checking translated content for accuracy and consistency.

Suggested article: QA Checks


Rigorous Language Inspection, a thorough linguistic review to ensure translation quality.


Content Management System, software used to create, manage, and publish digital content.

Suggested read: How to translate WordPress themes and plugins


Globalization Management System, a system that manages the globalization of content and products.


Application Programming Interface, which can facilitate content integration between systems for localization.

Suggested read: API v2 Documentation


Extensible Markup Language (XML) Localization Interchange File Format, a standard XML-based format for exchanging localization data.


User Interface, the part of a software application that users interact with.


Graphical User Interface, a type of UI that includes graphical elements.


Translation Environment Tools, software used by translators to aid in the translation process.


Translation, Editing, and Proofreading, a standard process for quality translation.


Linguistic Quality Assurance, specifically checking for linguistic accuracy in translations.


Right-To-Left, used to describe languages that are read from right to left, such as Arabic or Hebrew.


Desktop Publishing, formatting and layout of translated content for print or digital media.


Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, a development and deployment approach that includes localization testing.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the world of localization is a rich tapestry of acronyms and terms, each representing a crucial facet of the intricate process of adapting content for global audiences.

From the initial steps of internationalization (i18n) and the utilization of Translation Management Systems (TMS) to the fine-tuned art of Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) and beyond, these localization acronyms encapsulate the complexity and precision demanded by the field.