What’s Terminology Management?

March 4, 2024
8 minutes
What’s Terminology Management?
Terminology management is extremely important for any business that decides to launch itself worldwide. In this article, we’ll show you how a term bank can help you maintain translation quality and consistency.
Table of Contents

In the realm of translation, term banks are (usually) alphabetically-arranged lists of terminology and jargon pertaining to particular fields of expertise. Together with translation memory (TM), they ensure that all your translation projects are of excellent standard and uniform – a must when adapting goods and services for global markets.

‍Why use term banks?

Term banks are lists of difficult-to-translate and field-specific terminology. They help linguists save time when it comes to finding just the rights translations for technical words and concepts, without compromising excellence and consistency.

‍How do term banks work?

‍How do term banks work?

Translators use term banks largely when they work on translation management systems and other CAT tools. Term banks remind them of potentially matching terms and expressions from their own repository, segment by segment. They then can incorporate those into their translation.

‍Term banks are glossaries or term indexes. Translators rely on them to ensure they’re “talking” in the client’s own speak – that is, that all of the right terms from the right industry are in place. This in turn guarantees quality and minimizes mistakes.

How should you and translators use term banks?

Now you know a little more about what term banks are and how they work. Let’s talk about how to use them effectively. Here’s some tips for you to follow so that you tap into their potential.

Add ‘don’t translate this’ to your banks

Add ‘don’t translate this’ to your banks

Have you ever encountered rather clunkily translated company/product names or abbreviations that scream “eau de la Chinglish”? Even if hysterical, nobody wins in the end – time and money down the toilet!

Many companies outsource translation support from a third party – who seldom know their particular needs. Sometimes it’s best to leave certain things untranslated. If that’s the case, you should indicate so in your term bank(s).

Always keep your term banks up-to-date

Always keep your term banks up-to-date

As your translation volume grows, so do your translation memory (TM) and term bank rather naturally (and ultimately saving time and money in the long run).  However, both can end up conflicting one another over time if you don’t periodically update your data.

When you add new content, don’t forget to ask your translator to update their term banks and translation memory as needed.

Use term banks for quality control (QA)

Term banks ensure quality, accuracy, and above all, consistency (especially if the content in question in technology-oriented).

‍Therefore, think of and use term banks as quality control (QA) tools to make sure that everything in your translation orders terminology-wise are spot on – it’s super critical. Remember: excellent translation and localization are your bridge to new markets.

Define for conext

When putting your term banks together, be sure to add explanatory notes under each term as to what they mean/allude to. Doing so will give your translators/linguists context to better understand the source context, and thus work more efficiently.

Categorize your term banks as you need them

Categorize your term banks as you need them

Context is a vital aspect of translation. Take the English word “tier,” for instance. In the construction industry, tiers are vertical layers of bricks the width of one brick. To political scientists, they’re groups of political or geographic regions that form rows on maps.

If you work in more than one field and have translation projects in some or all of them, then you’ll need to categorize your term banks accordingly as well. Don’t know where to start? Worry not, ADH Translation’s got your back covered and the latest translation technology to boot.

Better still, our translation management system allows you to create multiple term banks for all your projects, whatever their type and topic.

Be mindful of dialects and regionalisms

Many world languages have multiple official varieties.  For example, the Spanish written and spoken in Spain (i.e. Castilian) can differ significantly from its many South and North American cousins.

In such cases, how you translate terms thus is likely to vary from one country to the next. Project management systems allow you to handle that in a flexible and effective manner.

Interact with your translators

Interact with your translators

There’s no such thing as a “perfect translation.” Even when think you all of the words in your term banks are as accurate as can be, many cases still require alternative solutions – this is especially true for marketing materials. Be sure communicate well with your translation team and consider their feedback and insights, too.

If you keep all of the above in mind, you’re bound to end up with great translation results and a better place in all your new markets. ADH Translation is here to guide you on your path to success!