Terminology management refers to the process of identifying, documenting, and organizing your company’s or client’s terminology. The process can be as straightforward as creating a list of terms that appear in a given text and then writing down their equivalents in the target language. It can also be more complex, such as when glossaries or termbases are created so that terminology can be stored and easily accessed as needed.
A termbase (short for terminology database) is a database that contains terminology and data related to a specific subject for use in translation projects. These databases are often bilingual or even multilingual, and play a vital role across the lifetime of a translation project.
Ultimately, terminology management seeks to achieve consistency, clarity, and efficiency. If effective, the process will alleviate any of the issues associated with jargon, such as the need to look up the meaning and usage of a term every time it appears in a text. All translators need to do is to extract it from their existing termbase.
One of the most obvious benefits associated with terminology management is that it enables translators or language service providers (LSP) to ensure consistency across the entire organization.
When dealing with complex subject-specific terminology, you can also mitigate the risk of variation in how certain words could be translated or of using incorrect terms altogether. Having an approved termbase further ensures that the content produced is standardized, and the terms, accurately translated.
Having a high-quality termbase increases efficiency as it reduces the time required to research technical terms. You can leverage the terms already stored in the termbase or glossary, resulting in lower costs for the business.
Moreover, it will decrease the time and effort required of proofreaders or editors working in the later stages of a project by helping maintain term consistency throughout the entire text.
Customer retention is built upon reliability and consistency — and well-defined terminology helps LSPs bolster a client’s corporate identity or brand voice.
An easily understood brand voice creates the image of a company that knows and respects its customers. Inconsistent terminology, on the other hand, can result in a poor representation of a business or service.
Additionally, terminology management plays a crucial role in deploying an effective SEO strategy. How your website ranks in search engine queries will depend on how accurately your keywords are translated across the different languages used by your target customer.