Laying the groundwork with terminology

Laying the groundwork with terminology

Do we really need to compile lists of our company’s terms? We just want the text translated quickly. And working with terms sounds like hard work. But the fact is that when we’ve taken the time to create a term database in the past, the results have been much better. So here is some advice about how and why to lay the groundwork for translating your company’s texts, ultimately achieving truly effective translation processes.

Published 8/15/2016

What exactly is terminology?

Terminology is the words that your company typically uses. The names of your products or services, industry terms or jargon. Together, these make up the company’s terminology. Imagine trying to translate a well-known furniture catalogue – screws and nuts, Billy and Ivar – without a list of terms or what the various items of furniture are called. Wouldn’t a term database come in handy? 

Why spend time doing this?

You might think that our translators are the experts, and yes – they are. But they don’t know your company and how you talk about your products and services internally. And there may be different ways of saying the same thing within your industry. Or the company management may have decided to say things in a certain way.

And bear in mind that different translators might translate into different languages without knowing what you want your products to be called. So you can see how things might get tricky.

Be prepared

When you go skiing, you wax your skis to improve your performance. In the same way, you can ensure that the translation process goes smoothly by making the right preparations. If you invest the time to compile your company’s unique terms before ordering your translation, the results will be better. And if the text will be used online, it should also be search engine optimised. Find out more about search engine optimisation (SEO) and terminology in another of my blog posts

Good luck!

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