What is terminology management?

Most companies use an increasing number of industry- or organization-specific words and phrases which need to be accurately stored, shared and translated. These ‘terms’ can be anything from product names to marketing taglines to technical words.

Terminology management is the process of identifying, storing and managing company, customer or product terminology that needs to be translated in a specific way. It allows you to achieve effective and accurate translations by organizing these terms with a clear set of rules for their usage. This ensures that the correct term is used within a translation.

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More about terminology management

What is a termbase?
Terminology, or terms, are stored within a dedicated database known as a termbase, accessible through a computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool or a translation management system. A termbase functions as a searchable repository or glossary, housing multilingual terms along with reference notes and usage rules. The process involves identifying, storing and managing terms, encompassing tasks such as adding new entries, modifying existing ones and removing outdated terms. This systematic approach ensures the precise usage of terms within translations. The absence of a well-maintained termbase can lead to challenges for translators, particularly when dealing with acronyms, synonyms and abbreviations that lack clear contextual understanding.
What is the difference between a termbase and translation memory?
translation memory is designed to store entire segments, which can range from short phrases to complete sentences. On the other hand, termbases primarily house individual words or expressions, serving as repositories of specific terminology.
How do termbases work?
Termbases operate through a systematic and streamlined process known as ‘active term recognition’. This process is designed to enhance translation accuracy and efficiency by harnessing the power of specialized terminology. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how termbases function:
  • Automatic term search: Termbases begin by automatically scanning the source sentences of a text. This search is finely tuned to pinpoint relevant and industry-specific terms that are crucial for accurate translation.
  • Term suggestions: Once the automatic search is complete, the system presents a list of term suggestions. These suggestions encompass the specific words, phrases or expressions that are recognized as pertinent to the content being translated.
  • Effortless insertion: Translators can then easily integrate the suggested target terms into the translation. This seamless insertion is facilitated by a user-friendly interface and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Enhanced translation quality: Incorporating established and standardized terminology, termbases contribute to the overall quality and consistency of translations. The use of precise terms eliminates guesswork and maintains a uniform tone throughout the translated material.
What is the benefit of using terminology management?
  • Consistency in term usage: When using terminology management, you are creating a standardized set of terms that are approved for use in your content. This consistency ensures that all your communication materials, whether they are documents, websites or marketing collateral, adhere to the same terminology guidelines. This prevents confusion, ambiguity and potential misunderstandings among your audience. Consistency in terminology usage also helps reinforce your brand identity and messaging across different platforms and languages.
  • Enhanced translation quality: By maintaining a well-defined terminology database, you provide translators with a clear and accurate reference point. This helps them maintain the intended meaning and context during the translation process. When translators have access to approved terms and phrases, they can focus more on the nuances of language and cultural adaptation, ultimately leading to higher-quality translations.
  • Centralized management for streamlined processes: Centralized terminology streamlines the management of termbases, making them readily available to all stakeholders involved in the content creation and translation process. With a centralized system, updates and changes to terminology can be efficiently implemented, ensuring that all versions of content remain consistent and up to date.
  • Time and effort savings: When terminology is not managed effectively, inconsistencies can lead to time-consuming rework and revisions. Translators might need to go back and correct terms, resulting in a loss of productivity. Terminology management significantly reduces the likelihood of such rework by providing translators with pre-approved terms. This reduces the back-and-forth communication between translators, reviewers and content creators, ultimately saving time and effort.