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LANGUAGE, SIMPLIFIED

Language is inherently challenging to translate because it is so inherently flexible. In the English language, for example, a noun is rarely just a noun. Consider the word test, which is both a noun (taking a test) and a verb (when you test someone). Language would be a lot easier to translate if it were simplified or controlled. If test were used only as a noun, for example, translators (machine and human) would have less room for error because any sentence using that word would be less ambiguous.

Many companies cannot afford to leave room for ambiguity, so they develop what’s known as a controlled language (CL). A controlled language, also known as simplified language, is basically a thorough and rigid style guide. A CL can improve the clarity and consistency of source-language text and improve the quality of the translated text (as well as the speed at which it’s translated). To ensure that writers follow the CL rules, many companies rely on CL software. As shown in Figure 10.1, you can purchase software that can be customized to enforce your company’s specific CL.


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