Creating a strong terminology management program is the most effective way to accomplish this. Terminologies, unlike glossaries, allow you to create much more than a list of words and their translations. Well-defined term bases provide additional metadata such as context, categorizations, and/or descriptions, as well as forbidden and permitted words. Furthermore, because a single phrase can have multiple meanings depending on context, term bases ensure that you can add translations for each of these meanings in all your target languages with additional metadata for further clarification.
For instance, with a glossary, you could only have one meaning associated with the word “window,” which would probably be “an opening fitted with glass.” With a term base, you could add others, such as “a transparent panel on an envelope to show an address,” “a display on screen,” or “an interval of time.” All of these definitions can be included, along with specific contextual examples and corresponding translations, ensuring that all use cases are covered and that the correct terms are used depending on context.
Simply put, terminology, when used properly, allows your brand to be consistent across all markets. You’ll always be in control of your messaging by creating this repository of key phrases or taglines and their translations. That way, you can avoid potentially costly mistakes—not just in terms of the money spent on content retranslation but also due to the potentially disastrous effects on your brand’s reputation.
By creating an Enterprise Terminology Management program, a company ensures that all stakeholders are using the right terms and concepts within the organization. In the localization industry, there is a common assumption that terminology only impacts translators. The reality is that terminology has an impact on all stakeholders throughout your product or service life cycle, including technical writers, product managers, marketing and branding teams, translators, and reviewers.”
Using terminology is crucial for ensuring consistency and accuracy in localized content: it will analyze the content as you send it for translation and spot any words or phrases that match terms in the repository. For instance, XTM Cloud’s CAT tool, Workbench, automatically highlights terms in the source and target languages that appear in the centralized term base. This helps linguists spot key phrases and ensure they translate them correctly. It also allows translators to access the terminology database and other resources, such as concordance, to ensure they have the right tools and information to produce high-quality translations.
If localized content isn’t in line with the terminology, it will automatically be flagged as a mistake. Taking our own brand as an example, one of our key terms is “XTM Cloud,” which should never be translated. If a French linguist decided to change it to “XTM Nuage,” they would get an error message. If our Japanese translator decided to use Japanese characters ‘XTM クラウド’, the quality checks would raise it. They could then check what the error is and get clarification straight from the CAT tool: ‘XTM Cloud should never be localized’. The same thing would happen if they didn’t use caps for XTM, for instance.
In addition to preventing incorrect translations, a terminology database also helps reduce localization time and costs by providing linguists with pre-approved translations, helping to maintain consistency across all translated content. Plus, terminology also enables you to add forbidden terms, such as inaccurate or offensive translations, ensuring they never get used.
A cloud-based TMS like XTM Cloud allows all linguists, project managers, and admins to access the same central repository from which everyone is working. This ensures that clear guidelines are easily accessible and applied consistently across the board. Access rights can be easily defined and customized, ensuring that only the approved stakeholders can edit your terminology and other key assets, while others, such as your internal linguists or LSPs, get viewing access.
Earlier, we talked about poor translations and their impact. Let’s now look at well-known slogans that have strong associations with their brands on a global level. Can you imagine if Nike’s “Just do it” someday became “Simply do that”? How would you react, and how would that impact the way you perceive this brand? A long-lasting brand image is only possible if those slogans are always the same within each market. That’s what terminology ensures: consistency, so your brand and messaging never get diluted.
This makes the whole localization process more efficient, not only for linguists but also for reviewers. Having access to all the guidance coming from the term base will shorten and simplify your reviewing process. Reviewers will simply have to check that the localized content matches the guidance coming from the terminology module, removing any possible doubts they may have about key phrases.
So far, we’ve talked about existing content. But what about new products? Let’s say you’re about to launch a new feature that includes some technical information and product descriptions, like when we launched our new Query Management Module in XTM Cloud 13.1. In German, it didn’t get translated as Abfrageverwaltungsmodul, which would be the exact equivalent, but rather as Modul zur Verwaltung von Anfragen (request-management module), because it made more sense in that specific market. How did we know this? We took the time to do research in that market and validate that this term made more sense.
Depending on the level of complexity, it may take linguists a significant amount of time to do their research, understand what it is that your feature is about, and then spend some more time doing that same research in their target market. The problem is, they may still get it wrong, and you may not notice it until it’s too late. The good news is that this can be easily mitigated by doing the work upfront.
Context can be added directly within the terminology, as well as images, descriptions, metadata, and other additional information. This ensures that linguists can feel confident in what they are translating and will shorten the validation process, if one is needed. Plus, it also means that once you are ready to launch your new feature or product, linguists will be able to localize new content faster, speeding up time-to-market, as they won’t have to waste time doing research to get it right—the information will already be there in the term base to guide them.
Implementing best practices for Enterprise Terminology Management results in cost savings across the localization process, enhancing consistency, quality, time to market, and your overall ROI for investing in global markets.”
- Enables you to have several key phrases added as valid or forbidden, unlike a simple glossary
- Allows you to add metadata information, both at concept level and term level
- Provides a single source of truth so linguists know how to translate key phrases (like your slogan or product names)
- Ensures that forbidden words get flagged in the CAT tool, including offensive or incorrect translations coming from the terminology
- Lets linguists know when not to translate a word or key phrase (like your company name)
- Ensures your brand image, product descriptions and features are safeguarded in all target markets
- Saves time on proofreading and performing Language Quality checks
Many of us understand that a strong global brand is supported by well-defined brand guidelines, but few truly understand the need to have a powerful terminology to ensure that brand is successful in all target markets. XTM Cloud offers a unique level of configurability when it comes to managing your terminology and will support you if you need to create one from scratch, import an existing one, or keep it up to date.
Rocío Gray, Localization Manager at Crown Equipment Corporation, faced a number of challenges with terminology during the implementation of their global localization strategies. For Crown, focusing on terminology paved the way to a consistent brand voice, an excellent user experience, and massive cost savings. If you are still in any doubt about the importance of a robust terminology strategy to overall global content success, then this video is for you. Rocío addressed how the linguists used the newly created terminology to create consistent and higher-quality content while drastically cutting costs.
XTM Cloud has the most comprehensive concept-based Terminology solution in a TMS on the market today, ensuring your brand image is safeguarded in all markets.
- Forbidden terms
- Linking terms
- Live suggestions from term base
- Multilingual terms
- QA check for consistency
- Term descriptions & images
- Monolingual and bilingual term extraction
- Term indexing and tagging
Using XTM Cloud’s Terminology, RS Group, a provider of 500,000 industrial and electronic products from over 2,500 leading suppliers, addressed consistency issues of its content across the board, now delivering consistent and timely translations for daily product releases.
XTM Cloud doesn’t just let you manage, import, and export your terminology from and into industry standard formats. It proactively helps you maintain it using AI. Every time a new localization project is created, the TMS analyzes all the content and finds high-quality terms to be added to the term base. Besides, while XTM Cloud analyzes your files, it takes your existing term base into account, if you have one, to ensure that any terms that already exist in it are not added again. AI transformed a process that had historically been very subjective and manual by adding a ton of logic and math to it.
XTM Cloud also integrates with terminology management software such as Interverbum’s TermWeb®. This advanced terminology management tool helps you ensure your content is consistently on-brand, regardless of the complexity of your terminology or your industry. We’ve developed a seamless integration with it to let you get the most of both tools by managing within XTM Cloud, from a dedicated TermWeb tab.
To go one step further, the bilingual term extractor can be leveraged, meaning that when a term is identified, its translation is also included. It doesn’t require linguists to write the translation—it is proposed automatically! All that’s left for the linguist to do then is a quick review, and the Terminology is ready to use, ensuring that localized content is consistent and of high quality. This produces a considerable ROI, as the costs incurred by having to retranslate content will be significantly reduced, as will the time required for content to be reviewed and approved.
Let’s take a concrete example. Let’s say that you need to manually extract 500 terms from 50,000 segments. Doing this manually would take around 1 minute per segment, so 833 hours in total. On top of that, figuring out the translations of the 500 extracted terms (which the bilingual term extractor does automatically) would take a further 3 minutes per term (extracting all possible translations and their contexts and making a decision regarding the correct translation). So that’s an additional 25 hours being saved, or over 850 hours in total.
Ensuring that inclusive and appropriate language is used in localized content is becoming increasingly important, especially when it comes to safeguarding a company’s global brand. However, it is still a challenge for the localization industry due to the additional layer of complexity added to the quality-assurance process.
We believe that being able to automatically detect inappropriate and non-inclusive language will be a basic need for enterprises in the near future. At XTM, we are doing our bit to enable this and are working on adding automatic detection of inappropriate or discriminatory language directly within XTM Workbench.
The technology powering these QA checks is truly innovative: it comes from a combination of a rule-based algorithm and a machine- learning neural network. Together, they provide the perfect blend of reliability and customizability with the ability to learn and improve over time. Additionally, we are investigating how our Inter Language Vector Space (ILVS) can detect offensive language in other languages using the neural network.
With these checks being seamlessly integrated into existing translation workflows, linguists and copywriters will no longer have to interrupt their work to reference offline style guides or dictionaries. Appropriate and inclusive words and phrases are instantly presented to the translator in their work environment, which results in significant savings in terms of time, costs, and quality. Inappropriate language checks can serve multiple scenarios, from source-language correction (in the so-called pre-processing workflow in XTM Cloud) to automatic detection of discriminatory MT output, which saves a considerable amount of post-editing efforts.
We’re really excited about this innovation that is currently in development. At a later point, we intend for this feature to be customizable, which would enable users to define their own custom terminology of inappropriate words and phrases according to their internal brand guidelines or territories. That way, you can ensure that you’ll never start promoting ‘slave sandals’.
We’d love to help you ensure you have the right technology to go global at scale by harnessing not only the most advanced linguistic technology but also intelligent automation and AI.