What on Earth is meant by Pseudo-Translation?


Pseudo translation sounds like it is a second rate translation – perhaps the sort of translation you get if you use one of those ubiquitous free translation websites that are available on the Internet. It’s not that at all! Pseudo translation is a serious technique used when testing a new application before a full translation is done.

Full translations can be expensive, so running an application or file through a pseudo translation trial run first can save time and money later on. If the application fails to work then the text can be adjusted or modified so that it passes muster before translating properly. Pseudo translations are used most typically for IT applications or software which is language dependent. German translators are often necessary to translate these apps into German or into English before the app is released onto the market.

Pseudo translation is rarely costly but it helps the designer know whether the eventual German NAATI translator will actually be able to access every word which has been included in the app. The pseudo translation can also help to determine whether the translated text can be processed after translation. The importance of pseudo translation is highlighted by the fact that many languages end up being lengthier than English. This can affect the code to such an extent that a programme could actually crash or fail to work because the text causes the dialogue box to become “clipped”.

One of the features of pseudo translation is the use of accented vowels. This may seem a bit strange for German translators as the accents may not be ones that are commonly used in German – or in fact in English, either. The accents are simply there as “markers” allowing the final translation team the opportunity to test whether they can still read the translated text.

Another peculiarity of pseudo translation is the use of “vowel doubling”, again which helps to “mark” significant words to test whether they are being translated properly.

These nuances in pseudo translation ensure that the applications can be “read” correctly, which is all important otherwise they will simply not work once translated, even if they are translated by a professional German NAATI translator!