As a translation agency, we often claim that it is essential to translate terminology consistently. But what exactly is terminology? And how is it relevant to you as a client? We will be happy to explain this.
Terminology is a collection of terms that are used in your company or field of business. Terms can be single words as well as word groups. They are usually specific to your company or field of business and can be divided into two main types: professional jargon and company-specific terms.
Of course, every field of business has its own professional jargon; however, the terminology used in different companies within the same field of business may differ. In other words, it is possible that they use different terms to describe the same concept. In addition, every company has its own company culture and the jargon that goes with it. Even if you do not actively think about it, your company will have its own specific jargon to some degree. If you would like to convey your message in other languages, it is important to translate this jargon in such a way that it is consistent and clear to your target audience.
Sometimes, terms can be translated literally and there will be little or no discussion about the correct translation. More often than not, however, terms may have multiple meanings with subtle differences between them. And as if that was not enough, company-specific terms can also consist of multiple words: for example, your company slogan.
The essence is that the translator will regularly run into terminology while translating your text. When that happens, chances are that they have to choose between different possible translations. We will be happy to explain what you can do as a client to make such choices easier and to ensure that your translations match your visions, products and services right from the start.
If you already have fixed translations for several terms in certain languages, you can share them with us. Our translators will then already be able to use them while working on the translation assignment. This terminology can be sent to us as an Excel file, for example, which can be directly imported into our online translation platform.
Compiling terminology lists
The terminology you share with us can consist of professional jargon as well as your company-specific jargon. Of course, we will make sure to translate your terms linguistically correctly. If our language professionals have different suggestions, we will pass these on to you to ensure that we jointly achieve the best possible result for your texts.
In case you have not yet determined any terms, we will be pleased to do that for you. Also, we will be happy to help you decide on the most suitable translations for your specific terms. Together we will ensure that your message is optimally conveyed in other languages.
Translators will find the most suitable translation for a term if they are given enough context. Therefore we recommend sending us additional reference material along with the translation assignment. This may consist of similar or previously translated texts about the subject at hand, or even images or videos to provide additional visualisation of your product or service. In addition, it helps a lot to explain highly specific terms in the text itself – not just for our language professionals, but also for your target audience.
Of course, as a translation agency we play an important role in translating terminology correctly. To that end we choose, as much as possible, translators who specialise in your field of business and will therefore be more familiar with the corresponding terminology.
Translation software detects terms
Furthermore, our translation software is an important part of the process. As soon as we have created a terminology list for your company, our translators will be able to use it during a translation assignment. The software detects terms in the text and directly shows the translator the desired translation of these terms. This ensures that your terminology is consistently used throughout all translation assignments, and you won’t have to give us the same feedback over and over.
Furthermore, we carry out an automatic quality check after the translation has been finished. This quality check will flag instances where the translation of a term does not match the translation of that term in the terminology list. If appropriate, the translated term can be changed to the desired translation in the second instance. Sometimes this can be deviated from, for example, if the term occurs in a different context.