Terminology management in practice – Real world example (Part 2)

terminology processThis is Part 2 of the presentation made by Silvia Cerrella Bauer, Managing Director of CB Multilingual Ltd. during the SDL Trados webinar series on terminology. You can read Part 1 by clicking here and watch the video in this link.

She presented a checklist used in during the validation process, summarized as follows:

  1. Concept-related data categories are correctly assigned (all categories are included and are accurate)
  2. Relation between concept and any subordinate/superordinate concepts are clear and don’t contradict each other
  3. Definitions coincide in three languages
  4. Term backed by reliable sources
  5. Term includes all attributes (grammar, normative and geographical use); attributes are correct.
  6. Source data (definition, context, note, etc.) is correct and verified manually or electronically
  7. Rules have been applied to format of data elements
  8. Links are working and placed in correct position
  9. Text fields are error-free (no typos, correct grammar, logical)
  10. Spelling conventions and formulation standards are observed

Silvia presented the internal tool developed for terminology management and the estimates on return on investment after one year of implementation, such as saving five minutes per search. The tool includes a query page, search tips, and a feedback form, and an explanation page on how the database was structured and what it contained.

She also explained how the process started by meeting with stakeholders from all company areas to determine subject fields and structure the database based on the information collected during the meetings (first six months). A year later they had a critical mass of terms (about 1000) that were representative and frequently used, and they were able to define the approach (descriptive/prescriptive) and compile the guidelines. Two years later they ran a test with the participation of target groups and started customizing the interface to meet user needs (1500 terms). In year 3 they had entered about 2.000 terms and after 3.5 years they started the dissemination stage (2500 terms). By year 4 they had compiled about 3000 terms.

To trigger awareness about the importance of managing terminology in order to develop a consistent corporate language, the team shared with staff general information on terminology management in the organization and held face-to-face meetings to explain the work they were doing. They also compiled glossaries on demand about products and services and worked in close collaboration with the training department to train new staff on the use of their termbase called SISTerm. Departments provided feedback via online forms created within the system and the team made sure to follow up on queries to determine, for example, which terms were most used or which terms the users couldn’t find.

As part of their terminology awareness campaign, they had a “first anniversary” celebration which was an out of the box initiative. They asked questions about three terms to find out if staff knew the answers and although they had a small budget the event had a big impact. Silvia added that this might be a good strategy that you can also apply. However, she added that all of the above was customized to their organization but you would have to do your terminology management process based on your own needs and resources available.

She made a before and after comparison of the workflow of the localization process. It was initially a highly time-consuming process that required a lot of corrections along the way and resulted in duplication of efforts. With the new workflow system her team was involved during the early stages of the process using the tools, resources and knowledge that the team had available to produce validated information. Many unnecessary steps were eliminated thanks to the new workflow since the process was more efficient and the information reached the final user faster.

Silvia offered some parameters based on the experience acquired from her project, as follows:

  1. The ratio on technical terms in content to be revised/translated was 20%.
  2. The average technical term contained 2.5 words.
  3. Technical terms occurred at least 60% more than once in the tool.
  4. The average time saved per technical term in each target language was 5 minutes.
  5. The number of technical terms in SISTerm was 70%.
  6. The total time savings compared to previous workflow was 32%

I strongly recommend that you watch the full video to get more details which I cannot include here due to lack of space. Overall, this was an excellent practical case which I think presented the full benefits of efficient terminology management.

Stayed tuned for the fourth and last summary of the webinar series “Your questions answered: terminology management and SDL MultiTerm” that was in charge of Tom Imhof, owner of localix.biz, a language technology consulting company located in Germany. He covered basic concepts on terminology management such was what is a termbase, structure of a termbase entry, what to store in a termbase, and the rationale behind doing terminology work. You really don’t want to miss it!


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2 Comments on “Terminology management in practice – Real world example (Part 2)

  1. Liked your video. And those are some very interesting points you made. Let’s have a look at part four. Thanks and good luck.

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