Terminology management 101: Getting Started

    Terminology management is a vital part of global branding, and it can also save your organization valuable time and resources. But what is it all about?

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    For companies that are looking to increase brand awareness in the global marketplace, there are several steps that must be taken first. In order to achieve the best results, brands must have a strong identity. This includes a set of guidelines about how the brand will communicate with the world and includes everything from brand colors to brand terminology.

    When it comes to translation and localization, a good language service provider should help you work through your message to other countries and what it will look like. This includes terminology management.

    What is terminology management?

    Terminology management can be described as a methodology that helps us identify, localize, approve and centralize corporate terminology across an enterprise.

    Terminology management requires much more than simply creating bilingual term bases with complex metadata. Terminology compliance and consistency is key to achieving high quality and cost-efficient brand management and localization processes.

    It can also be defined as a collection of processes that allows us to maximize corporate communications and intellectual asset reuse. Customers who engage in terminology management best practices transform their linguistic assets into intellectual property and capital. Furthermore, it’s an efficient and proven way to reduce globalization costs.

    Why do I need it?

    Very often key concepts and terms can be extremely difficult to localize, due to the technical nature of those concepts. Other times a lack of contextual references or other type of metadata or ancillary information can make the concepts or terms arduous – even for a qualified and experienced linguist.

    The first step in a solid terminology management program requires the upfront identification of key terms for the brand’s products and subject matter. This identification of key terminology coupled with the validation, localization, approval and centralization of those terms will create a path for an easier and more economical localization cycle for the organization.

    How terminology management helps with global brand consistency

    Investing in a terminology program allows a brand to have a widespread use of terminology concepts and terms to all stakeholders in an organization. There’s often a misconception in our industry that terminology only affects translators. In reality, terminology affects all the stakeholders in the product life cycle: from technical writers, to product managers, to marketing agencies working with customers’ branding, to translators and client reviewers.

    If a concept is unclear during the localization cycle or has no metadata information to explain or define the term, the translation cycle can grind to a halt. Multiply this confusion by the number of languages your organization is targeting, and you’ll have a bottleneck on your hands.

    This results in longer globalization lifecycles, more money essentially wasted on localization, increased inconsistencies, varying quality of content and slower time-to-market.

    Or, if you’re looking at the positives, implementation of terminology management best practices generate savings in multiple areas of the localization process, driving consistency, quality, time to market and ROI for your global branding efforts.

    More resources on terminology management

    What to learn more on how to better manage your corporate terminology? Here are some helpful resources to get you going:

    Published on    Last updated on 05/08/2020

    #Globalization, #Terminology, #Translation & Localization

    About the author

    Iñaki, a Senior Linguistic Asset Management Consultant at Amplexor, has been working in the localization industry since 1993. With extensive experience in solutions development, linguistics and terminology management, he is a member of the Linguistic Management Team at Amplexor. Having lectured at university prior to starting in localization, Iñaki holds a degree in linguistics and a Master of Arts in translation studies. When Iñaki is not busy working on language issues, his passion is rooted in photography.