Quality guarantee through terminology management – how do we do it?
We are always being asked how we are able to deliver better texts and translations with a quality guarantee. In addition to our unique quality assurance process carried out by professors, our terminology management and terminology service are cornerstones of quality.
What role does terminology management play in a translator’s daily routine?
Evelyne Antinoro, one of our translators, tells all:
TP: To what extent do our terminology lists make your work easier?
EA: Terminology lists make my work easier, because I always have the correct terminology for each customer to hand. I don’t need to think much, just look in my Translation Memory to see how I translated the term for this customer the last time. I have everything to hand in the list or glossary. I always work with two monitors so the terminology list is always at my fingertips.
TP: How much quicker do you work with terminology lists?
EA: I can’t say exactly. But I am quicker, because all I have to do is look at a list or in my glossary for the customer’s terminology.
TP: Can you tell us how much time – on average- you save with existing terminology?
EA: That really depends on the length of the text. It could be a few minutes for each text. If there are several texts, if the text is long, or when a customer is new to me and I’m not familiar with their terminology, it can also be a few hours.
TP: Which translation software do you work with?
EA: I work with Wordfast.
TP: Do you use Excel tables or MultiTerm termbanks?
EA: As I said, I work with Wordfast and I use Excel tables. This tool allows me to “feed” my glossary. So I save my language pair from the terminology table as a txt file and import the data into my glossary. This way I have all the right terminology to hand, and it can save a lot of time. I can add the correct term into the translation with just a few clicks, without having to type the whole word. It means that I can be sure there are no typing errors in the phrase, and it also saves time.
TP: Isn‘t using Excel tables a bit laborious?
EA: No. I only save terminology of certain customers – the biggest ones, for whom I translate a lot of files. For all the others I look for the terminology by using the search function in the Excel table. Copying the term is quick and easier than looking it up in several glossaries and online.
TP: What do you do when you can’t find a term in your terminology list or anywhere else?
EA: (Then I wonder why it’s in my text but doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world J.)
It’s already happened to me several times- they’re usually compound words. If possible, I “break down” the word and look for its meaning and translation in glossaries and online. If I can’t find the translation in Italian, then I’ll look for the English translation. Normally I have a bit more luck and understand the gist at least – what it’s about and what is meant by the term. If I understand the meaning, I’ll look for the corresponding word in Italian (or French) in the same context. Context is always important. Through “successive approximation,” I find the right translation.
TP: What tips would you give somebody who’s just starting to work with terminology lists?
EA: You can look at a terminology list as a customer-specific glossary. It’s a good idea to have a look at the terminology list before you start the translation – then you know which terms have already been entered. If you don’t know a word or a specific term, look in the terminology list before looking in a glossary or online.
As you can see, using terminology lists is very advantageous. Our terminologist Sonja Portmann is constantly updating our existing lists with the approval of the customer. Therefore, it’s very important that you download the latest version of each list. How do you know if you have the latest version? Sonja Portmann writes the date of the latest update in the file name.
Have you had similar experiences or do you want to share ideas with other translators? Tell us about your experiences here on our blog!
Marina Siedl (Project Management) & Sonja Portmann (Terminology)