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How does a translation management system integrate with terminology management?
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Aleix Gwilliam
AuthorAleix Gwilliam
Reading time 5 minutes

In this article, we will explore how a Translation Management System handles terminology management, providing insights into its features and functionalities.

What is a terminology database?

A terminology database is a collection of structured information defining terms and their meanings commonly used for reference or language translation purposes. These databases act as centralized repositories of terminology, ensuring consistency across translations. Linguists can access these databases while working on translations, reducing the risk of inconsistencies or incorrect term usage. 

How can you implement the right terminology in a TMS?

A TMS enables the creation and enforcement of specific vocabulary and terminology guidelines. These guidelines can include preferred terms, forbidden terms, style preferences, or client-specific terminology requirements. For example, if you’re translating a project for a sports retailer, there may be a preference to use ‘sneaker’ instead of ‘trainer’, and a terminology database can indicate that to linguists so that the translation is consistent. By enforcing these guidelines, a TMS helps linguists adhere to predefined terminology standards, ensuring accuracy and consistency in translations.

How does terminology management enhance quality and efficiency?

During the translation process, term suggestions based on the approved terminology can be provided. When the TMS identifies that a term in a segment is in the termbase, it suggests it to the translator, thus facilitating and speeding up the translation task.

How can I choose the right term for the right context?

A TMS which allows for context-specific term management, enables accurate usage of terminology in different domains, contexts, or industries. Translators can add context-specific examples, notes, or specify industry-specific term usage within the TMS, aiding in consistent and precise translations. For example, the word ‘dress’ can be a noun or a verb, so to ensure that the right term is used in another language, a note can be added for each glossary entry that the preferred translations for ‘dress’ in this case refer to the noun, and a separate one for the ‘verb’ so that it can be used in the correct context.

Why is collaboration in terminology management important?

Collaboration among translators, terminologists, and reviewers is crucial for effective terminology management. A TMS provides collaborative features that allow stakeholders to contribute to the terminology management process. They can suggest new terms, discuss terminology-related queries, and provide feedback on existing terminology, fostering a collaborative environment. Collaborative terminology management is particularly useful, for example, if a new development has rendered existing glossary terms obsolete (e.g. when the Czech Republic officially changed its name to Czechia), so linguists can alert each other to use the correct term and update it in the term base for correct future use.

How does a TMS ensure that the right terms are used?

To ensure the quality and accuracy of terminology, a TMS may include verification and validation mechanisms. This can involve automated checks to identify potential errors or inconsistencies in the use of terminology, alerting linguists for further review or correction. An example of this would be if a brand name alternates uppercase and lowercase in its name in an unconventional way (e.g. eBay), it can sometimes be translated as ‘Ebay’ at the start of a sentence. A TMS will flag this as an incorrect translation of the term and will suggest the correct spelling for the linguists to use.

A TMS integrates terminology management by including a series of features such as term bases, glossaries, collaborative communication channels (chats), and quality-assurance checks. All these features together enable linguists to handle terminology management efficiently. Consistent terminology allows organizations to achieve better translation outcomes and maintain their desired linguistic standards in all their global markets.

Expert tip

Iñaki Hernández-Lasa
Iñaki Hernández-Lasa

To establish an effective terminology management program, you need to start by identifying crucial terms related to the brand’s products and subject matter. This identification process, along with validating, localizing, approving, and centralizing these terms, will lay the foundation for a smoother and more cost-effective localization process for the organization in the long run.”

Iñaki Hernández-Lasa

Xpert at XTM International

Interested in finding out more about why terminology management is key to your global brand?

Get in touch to find out more about how to keep your brand voice consistent across your markets.