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Terminology Management Made Easy

Terminology management made easy

Whether it’s choosing the correct pharmaceutical terms, or using the right words to describe your products, terminology is an essential part of translation.

The translation of a word might be technically correct, but without the right terminology, it won’t meet a client’s standards.

Even in English you wonder: is it windshield or windscreen for a car manufacturer? Should a medical text use the generic or brand name for a particular drug? Is it important to your company if you “design” or “create” solutions? What about industry-specific jargon?

While translators will always find the required term, only a terminology database will make sure that it is the right one, the one that you use across your organisation. The terminology database helps them make these decisions.

A recent study found that the failure to provide specialised terminology could lead to translators spending up to 90 per cent of their time searching for the right terms.

Providing a list of preferred terms cut down this time and fewer errors were made.

But providing the right terminology list in a computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool, saw translation time drop dramatically, while there were virtually no terminology errors made.

It’s no wonder that the clients with large, ongoing translation requirements maintain terminology databases. They’re used across all their content where it’s important to get the words and tone of voice right.

Looking at the research, you might wonder why any translation buyer would go without a terminology database. One answer is that they’re time-consuming and expensive to maintain.

There is a high entry bar: the client needs to identify their key terminology to start with. Then it needs to be documented and approved, and once the translations start, the terms need to be maintained.

So if you didn’t even know how much a good terminology database could help you, why would you even consider starting this kind of project?

There it is: the challenge for a mature language technology service provider like Lingo24. We have been around for long enough to know the advantages of terminology management, so it was time to ask the next question: “How can we use our technology to ensure each client has at least a high quality glossary for all translation language pairs?”

We see an absence of a glossary becoming the exception, rather than the norm. So the next step was to develop software that could automate as much as possible of the glossary creation process, and produce great results fast and at a low cost.

*Picture credits: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com

Christof Schneider, Workflow Consultant, Lingo24

Christof Schneider joined Lingo24 in 2004 to support clients and the team with his workflow and technical expertise. He has a degree in Philosophy and Translation, and has worked as a translator and consultant, as well as teaching Technology and Localisation skills at Auckland University. He has been deeply involved in the integration of technology into Lingo24’s workflows and helped with the development of Coach, the translation technology platform.

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