Translation and the Importance of Terminology Management

By Stacey
Sep 30, 2016 · 3 min

Effective terminology management is very important for translators.

Translation and the Importance of Terminology Management | One Hour Translation

No-one can deny that the Internet has changed the way we do almost everything today, including the way we search for information, the way we receive information, and the way we exchange information. In fact, today, it’s quite normal for videos and images to be the most popular online platforms when it comes to explaining certain things. With the popularity of these platforms, some people may question just how important written communication is, and how important it will be in the future. The truth is that written text will always be the prominent component of the Internet, and it will also be the most important component of online or print documents. Knowing this, it’s always good to be reminded that we must use correct terminology when completing a translation project.

Defining Terminology Management

Terminology Management can be defined as: ‘The documentation, storage, manipulation, and presentation’ of terminology. Terminology can be defined as: ‘The special words that belong to an art, science, a social entity, or an author’’. Effective terminology management is very important for translators, but it’s also important for client corporations and for those professionals who work with specialised knowledge. When terminology is appropriately managed it increases consistency in source language products, thereby improving their readability; in addition to reducing translation problems which may well stem from terminology redundancy.

What Is Terminology Management?

Basically, terminology management allows a translator or translation agency to both store and retrieve updated terms, allowing them to be integrated into a translated document. Many businesses use a terminology management tool for just these purposes. Essentially, a terminology management tool or a database that stores updated information on terms to be used in translation, are both time-saving and energy-saving for both the freelance translator as well as translation agencies.

Why Terminology Management Tools Are Used

There are various reasons as to why a freelancer or translation agency may decide to use a terminology management tool.

  • The first reason is that terminology can change, and if old terms are used in a translation document it can only lead to confusion and inconsistencies.
  • The second reason is that terminology management tools can save a lot of time and they’re very easy to use. Translators spends a large portion of their time searching for terminology, and this search involves locating all the necessary information in order to grasp the meaning of the concept and to use it appropriately. This search for technological data is very time-consuming for a translator, and can take up as much as 75% of a translator’s time.
  • The final reason is that most translation agencies work with many different languages, and of course each language has its own specialized terms. Having a terminology management tool means that the translator is not required to try and remember all these terms. In essence, using a terminology management tool helps the translator preserve the cohesion of texts for each client.

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The translation industry is a relatively small one but it’s also a highly competitive one. Basically, do your research on a translation agency prior to making initial contact and it will certainly pay off; perhaps not immediately because there may not be any work available at the time, so just be patient. Your application must stand out above the rest, and by following these simple steps you should have no problem whatsoever in achieving your translation goals.