The spade should not be called a shovel

The spade should not be called a shovel

Typical feedback from our customers: “The wrong terms have been used in the translation”. Sound familiar? Well, even professional translators make mistakes. However, terminology errors can be avoided. There are ways to ensure terminology accuracy and consistency in a translation.

Julkaistu 8.3.2017

Sharing is caring

Actually, it all starts from the person who orders the translation. When it comes to terminology, this is what you need to know:

Do you have terminology material available? A simple list of title names, product names, concepts specific to your company is terminology material. Please share any such material with us. This way, our translators will use your terms and not generic terms or your competitor’s terms.

However, the material should be relevant. By relevant, I mean that the term list, glossary or lexicon you share with us should really help the translator. For instance operating instructions, instruction sheet and directions for use are all good target terms to translate käyttöohjeet. But such a list of synonyms does not help the translator. The translator needs to know when to use operating instructions, when to use instruction sheet and when not to use directions for use. Ideally, each synonym in a glossary should have a status or a note explaining when to use or not to use them.

A piece of cake

When you share terminology material with us, the rest is easy. At Semantix, we will convert your terminology material into what is called a “term base”, your term base. Term bases are integrated into our translation tools. This means that when working on your project, the translator does not need to search possible target terms in a separate document, dictionary or database. Instead, he or she gets target term suggestions directly in the translation editor. Therefore, working with a term base ensures that the translation contains exactly the terms you want.

Check and double-check

Having a term base is one thing, using it efficiently is another. Therefore we always instruct our translators to check their translation tool settings to make sure that they 1) receive target term suggestions (and status and note) while translating, and 2) receive warnings if the term they are supposed to use is missing from the translation or if they use a term marked as “forbidden”. As said above, using statuses or notes helps translators use the right term each time.

And because quality really matters to us, our project managers also perform – among other checks – an automated terminology check before delivering the final translation to you. This automated check will detect possible inconsistencies in terms, missing terms, use of wrong terms, etc.

Working with a term base definitely reduces the number of terminology errors and also the amount of rework needed after a translation has been delivered. At Semantix, all our projects are supported by term bases. But to make sure the term base includes your terms, make sure your share your terms with us.

Lue lisää termistöistä suomeksi

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