How to achieve the correct use of terminology in the technical translations?
In each specialized field, such as technical, economics, accounting, culture, society, environment, and medicine, there are always particular terminology used chiefly in the context of a given field. These ‘terms’ can belong to the general language vocabulary but can also be strictly company-specific, like product names.
Why is terminology important?
Terminology, unlike regular predicates, often carries significant specialized information that can quickly turn into horribly misleading information when not correctly understood. Therefore, accurately translating terms and applying approved multilingual terminology is critical in professional translations.
According to ISO 17100, terminology management, revision of translations and selection of suitable translators are cornerstones for the proper organization of technical translations.
TextUnited, a certified ISO 17100 company, provides you with all the tools and ready-to-go processes to translate specialized content.
Accuracy and consistency of translations
First, terminology can change over time, so using old terms in a document can lead to misunderstandings and inconsistencies. In addition, languages are different, and each language has its way of what is and is not considered a technical term. Therefore, the translation preparation and use of multilingual terminology are essential to maintain coherence and consistency in the multilingual versions of content.
Quality of the source content
Translators spend (and should) a large part of their time researching specialized terms, which involves locating all the information needed to grasp the concept’s meaning and use it appropriately.
Well-prepared, consistent source documents and a pre-built project glossary are critical in shorting the translation time and enabling a translator to achieve quality translations efficiently.
What is the best way to apply specialized terminology correctly during a translation project?
Glossary of terms
It is no exaggeration to say that a glossary is indispensable for effective and high-quality translation. Especially when dealing with technical documents, for example, there should be a consensus on meanings for terms with multiple definitions. Otherwise, they can confuse readers and cause damage to those who use the text.
Creating a glossary of commonly used terms for a given project is necessary and effective to avoid such risks and can reduce quality assurance efforts.
The multilingual glossary should include all industry-related terms and abbreviations you want to use consistently in the translated content.
A term management system allows a translator to store and retrieve client-specific terms and facilitate their use in a translated document. Many translators and translation agencies use terminology systems for these purposes only. But such systems allow the creation and maintenance of multilingual terminology in collaboration with the client, specifically with his in-country reviewers. An example of such a system is TextUnited. Additionally, the client’s TextUnited multilingual terminology database is used to train the machine translation engines to produce translations which accommodate the expected terminology.
This way, TextUnited helps translators use specific terms consistently across all human translations and leverage terminology multilingual data as training data for AI deployment.
From this perspective, TextUnited offers a next-generation terminology system for specialized translations.
Consult industry experts
Translating technical documents requires advanced language skills and a professional level of technical knowledge and understanding. Engaging with experts in your field to build the first multilingual terminology database is wise.
Quality assurance process
1. Translators: analyze the source content and use a glossary feature
When you receive a document to translate, you need to research and understand its target audience, what language style your translation should be, and, most importantly, examine any specialized terms used in the document. The best practice is to prepare a glossary before translating.
TextUnited provides an excellent tool for it in the form of a ‘glossary package’.
It includes all terminology automatically extracted from the source content, with many pre-translated terms from the client’s terminology database. You can translate all new terms within a glossary package, and the client can approve them.
Lastly, a glossary package allows for exchanging comments about each term, which is a valuable collaboration tool for building a good terminology database.
Once the project is complete, the system merges all new terms from the glossary with the primary terminology database.
2. Company users: collaborate with translators
Engage with translators when they translate a glossary package with your specific technical terms.
You can do it yourself if you speak a given target language directly in the TextUnited system or ask for help from someone from your company who does (your ‘in-country reviewer’). Answering translators’ question is a condition for getting the translation as you expect. Even professional TextUnited translators need to learn how your company wants to refer to specialized concepts in different languages.
3. Company users: maintain the terminology database
Before translating your content, the translator will research and create a project glossary which will be merged with the primary terminology repository after completing the project.
The terminology repository requires further maintenance. The main tasks are to annotate the terms and upload images, to help translators even more in the future.
The best practice is to allocate those tasks to your internal in-country reviewers. They will also be able to delete obsolete terms and correct any wrong translations.
4. Checking, revision and proofreading documents
A good project glossary does not guarantee that the final translations are correct. It is essential to check if the terms are indeed used during translation.
Fortunately, TextUnited offers an instant notification mechanism for a translator if a specific term should be used in translation on a segment level. Additionally, all project members, including in-country reviewers and a client, can run ad-hoc quality assurance reports, which list all inconsistencies using approved terms from the glossary.
5. Final check of the translated documents
After the translation and revision, the translated files are checked by translators for the last time to re-evaluate the quality: linguistic, like terminology and language style, and document format.
Although the TextUnited system preserves the files’ layout and text format, translators must ensure that the final translated files match the source files and implement any necessary changes, including images, page breaks etc.
It will make the translations look clear and coherent and show the professionalism of the translation.
Do you want more quality in your technical translations?