Terminology management involves the creation, expansion and administration of glossaries.
Specialist terms in several languages are defined in a glossary.
On the one hand, this involves establishing the correct translation and on the other creating uniformity (especially if there are several correct translations of a specific term). Here is an example from the financial sector, in which balance sheets are presented annually and a comparison to previous years is one factor of interest. It is essential for comprehension that positions in the source and target language are described in the same way. For instance: German: “Nettomittelabfluss”, English: “net cash outflow”, “net cash used”, “net cash flow”. Just one English term should be specified here.
How do we specify terms in a glossary?
There are four different scenarios:
- Our clients provide a glossary in Excel, Word or PDF format. We make sure the prescribed terms are applied consistently in translations.
- During the translation, we collate specialist terms in the source and target language and save them in a termbase that is integrated in our CAT tool. The entries are made up of single and multi-word units and can be sent to the client’s specialist departments in Excel format for discussion, correction and approval.
- Our clients provide pre-approved multilingual documentation from other agencies, their own clients or partners that should be used as binding reference material. We have tools to extract frequently recurring terms (term extraction), to which we then assign the appropriate translation. This process is somewhat time-consuming and can lead to additional costs depending on the scope of the reference material. We consider this process to be of great importance for the consistency of company-specific language. Web content can also be processed in this way.
- When the project is confirmed, our clients refer to extensive standards, information portals, dictionaries or specialist literature that should be used for the translation. There is no all-round solution in this case. We are happy to discuss the respective procedures with our clients on an individual basis.
Why do we need a glossary even though we already work with a CAT tool?
Texts are stored sentence by sentence in two languages in the TM (translation memory) generated and managed by our CAT tool Trados. The tool analyses matches with stored translations and repetitions on the basis of percentages. If the match is less than 50%, no translation is shown and individual terms can only be found one by one with the concordance search, which is too cumbersome with lengthy translations. Another problem is that the consistency of translations of individual terms cannot be assessed with our QA Software
Working with a termbase
The translator has direct access to the glossary throughout the entire translation process. As soon as our CAT tool Trados recognises a term from the glossary in the source text, it suggests the corresponding specified translation to the translator. After translation, our project managers can use our QA software to assess whether terms from the glossary were used consistently.