The Management of Terminology in Translations

A company-approved glossary or list of terminology is crucial for products and processes. You should also establish equivalent terms in all target languages. Professional localization and translation require proper terminology management, which ensures consistent language usage throughout organizational content.

What are the keys to managing terminology in English?

During the development of products or services, key terminology typically emerges. Engineers, technical writers, and even marketers will have a hand in that process. Ideally, leadership will make this terminology available to the entire company so that everyone is on the same page about its appropriate usage.
The key steps for managing terminology in English include the following:

1) Identify relevant terms and concepts.
2) Define and standardize terms.
3) Document and store terms in a centralized repository.
4) Implement a system for maintaining and updating terms.
5) Promote consistency in use of terms across all communication channels.
6) Provide training and resources for stakeholders to effectively use the terminology, and
regularly review and assess the terminology management process to make improvements.

Effective terminology management helps facilitate clear and consistent communication within an organization and with external stakeholders.

What about terminology management in translation? What are some of the best practices?

It’s always preferable to create a glossary or term base prior to the translation project. This is because the key players in an organization will have the best grasp of those key terms. However, if an established list doesn’t yet exist, the translation team should “mine” for terminology during the translation process.

The best practices for terminology management for translations include the following:

1) Collaborate with subject-matter experts to establish a comprehensive and up-to-date terminology database.
2) Implement a clear approval process for new and existing terms.
3) Safeguard consistency in translation by using computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and translation memories.
4) Provide regular training to translators on the use of approved terminology.
5) Regularly review and update the terminology database.
6) Establish clear guidelines and procedures for handling terminology in the translation process.
7) Maintain close communication and collaboration with both the client and the translation team to address any terminology issues that arise.

If an organization has employees who are native speakers of the target language, they can assess the translated terms and communicate any suitable modifications to your translation service provider.

Encourage your staff to share alternative translations of terms with your translation company if they believe they can improve upon the existing translations.

At TrueLanguage, we use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to manage translated glossary terms. This helps our translators choose the correct terms consistently throughout the process of translation. CAT tools can be a major component of the translation process.

By following these best practices, organizations can lock in accurate and consistent terminology usage across multiple languages.

Who should be responsible for English terminology management?

A single individual or department should be assigned to oversee English terminology management. Potential candidates may come from departments such as documentation, technical writing, marketing, or R&D.

The terminology management process should include a structured decision-making method for determining which terms will be approved and added to the database and which will not. This critical decision often involves multiple departments and requires a person with the authority to make decisions regarding both product management and corporate language.

Large companies, especially in technology or engineering, will have a dedicated team of terminologists.

Who should be responsible for handling terminology management in translation?

That one is easy to answer! A professional translation company like TrueLanguage will be adept at managing terminology throughout the translation process. As mentioned earlier in this article, if an organization has foreign-language staff who can review the terminology in collaboration with your translation partner, it is a big plus.

Are there guidelines for how much terminology can be included in documents?

The percentage of terminology in a document can vary depending on the subject matter and intended audience. There is no set percentage that applies to all documents. However, a general guideline is to keep the use of terminology to a minimum and explain clearly to the reader any technical or specialized terms.

The goal is to include all terminology necessary to accurately convey key information yet not present so many unfamiliar terms that the reader becomes overwhelmed. Finally, it’s important to consider the context and audience when you determine the appropriate level of terminology used in a document.

Consider Partnering with TrueLanguage

Are you looking for a language service provider to partner with? Consider TrueLanguage. We offer award-winning ISO-certified state-of-the-art business translation services that to date have garnered eighty-five Google reviews with a 5-Star rating. Call or message us for a cost-free, no-obligation estimate for your next translation project.