When it comes to business expansion that includes new markets, each company wants the best translation and localization services for all its related materials. In order to be able to provide such careful and precise work, the language service providers (LSPs) need to have a good terminology management system at hand.  

In order to clarify how exactly terminology management can facilitate localization, we will have a look at the main terms and processes associated with these tasks. Below you will find an explanation of the main terms as well as a list of the benefits of good terminology management for all interested parties.  

What is Terminology? 

Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are defined as words or sometimes short phrases that are used to describe a concept or object. Terms can refer to products, services or industry jargon. Quite often each company can use specific terms that are typical only for them. Hence, it is a bit challenging to translate terms and jargon, unless the business provides you with some explanations or a context.  

What is Terminology Management?

Basically, terminology management is the way a given organization gathers, uses and distributes the terms that are specific for its activity. In the best case scenario, each company has a terminology management process in place to ensure that all terms and jargon are consistent across all departments. There are different terminology management systems that facilitate the process. If the company then needs translation and localization of any of its documentation, it can provide the terminology database (termbase) to the LSP to facilitate the process and subsequently add the translated terms to its system. 

The language service provider also needs to have a terminology management system in place that ensures a termbase and a glossary for each specific industry they work in and for the individual clients as well. Such systems are of extreme help to the translators and also ensure the high quality and consistency of the overall service provided by the agency. 

How to Manage Terminology?

It is important to note that terminology management should start before the actual translation and localization of a given text, requested by the client. Basically, the process of managing terminology means to collect and place together certain rules that all translators and other involved professionals must follow. 

In order to manage terminology efficiently, the process must be regular and systematic. It should involve a list of all the terms that can be found in a client’s content along with their translation in other languages. There should be notes containing further examples, explanations and equivalent terms, as well as details about which terms should not be translated but remain the same in the target language, such as trademarks, proper names, company names, etc.  

All this information can be stored on various databases depending on its volume. If a certain client uses only several terms and wants translation just in two languages, their termbase could be stored in an Excel spreadsheet.  

As long as the database is easily accessible by all interested parties and contains all the necessary information, it can be said that you manage your terminology properly. 

Localization Benefits of Terminology Management

Once you know how to manage your terminology efficiently, it is easy to discover the numerous benefits it entails especially in relation to e-learning localization. Online courses are broadly used by educational institutions and different businesses that need reliable corporate training. Localization of the modules is very important in order to reach broader public and convey the same message. Hence, terminology management comes in handy, as it makes sure that a given term is properly used in all translated versions of the course.  

Besides, terminology management brings a ton of benefits both for the client and for the LSP. Here is a list of the main ones divided by groups: 

Benefits for the Language Service Provider

The main advantages the LSP draws from terminology management are as follows: 

  • Consistency – first and foremost when the terminology is properly managed it ensures that one and the same term is translated in exactly the same way in all the places it appears throughout the given course, module or document. This is achieved by updating and upgrading the termbase on a regular basis.  
  • Quality control – the translated and localized texts can easily meet the quality control requirements if they were done with the help of the termbase created as a result of good terminology management.  
  • Quicker proofreading – a translation memory tool using the termbase can facilitate the proofreaders in their work. Minor mistakes and deviations can be easily and quickly located and fixed.  
  • Cost and time efficiency – if there is a good termbase in place, both translators and proofreaders will spend less time trying to figure out a specific term or abbreviation. This will save both time and money for the LSP.  

We can sum up that the benefits are both for the company as a whole and for the individual experts involved in the translation and localization process – translators, proofreaders, project managers, etc.  

Benefits for the Client

The greatest benefit for the client that results from proper translation and localization of any document is the preserved corporate identity and image. It is easier for the company to establish itself on a new foreign market if it has the right marketing materials, product descriptions and corporate training materials rendered in consistent way. By respecting the cultural peculiarities of the target audience, the company shows that it knows how to handle its business and new customers.  

As a conclusion, it can be pointed out that terminology management is equally important for the LSP and their customers. It does not simply facilitate translation and localization but also reveals the serious intensions of the professionals to execute a meticulous service. Therefore, each LSP needs to identify and implement the best way to manage its terminology and always stay ready to integrate the new tools that facilitate this process.

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