What is terminology management?

We start by asking what is “Terminology”? It is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and phrases which describe products, services or industry jargon. They frequently drive competitive differentiation. Most companies use an increasing number of industry or organization specific words which need to be accurately stored, shared and translated. Terms could be anything from a product name to a marketing tag line.

Terminology management allows us 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.

Further more, in high risk fields, as medicine, military, law etc., problems of ambiguity or inconsistency can have especially serious consequences. However, even with less sensitive material, there are clear benefits from terminology management. Here are a few:

  • Readability – Texts are easier to understand when there is no ambiguity or inconsistency;
  • Image – Consistent use of terminology indicates good writing and projects a professional and confident image of your organization;
  • Subject matter expertise – Termbases are produced or approved by a specialist who is not a translator, while users of termbases do not need to be domain experts;
  • String lengths – String lengths are often restricted in software, gaming and mobile applications. Termbases will have pre-approved terms with correct string length;

Productivity – Translators and editors work faster and more confidently when there is a clear reference for the terminology. When there is a well-done termbase integrated with CAT tools, translators and editors see the terms automatically as they work instead of having to refer to an external document or researching online.

Cost – Fewer quality complaints and corrections lower the total cost of translation projects because higher quality materials require less work from editors and proofreaders;

Controlled language – Term bases are part of controlled language, which makes documentation easier and faster to index, search and manage.

Terminology Management