Believe us, we’ve seen it all and in a way, we completely understand companies that just quickly want to localize the content and they doubt whether they should invest time into Terminology Management. After all, it sounds time-consuming and people are not always sure whether the benefits are worth the effort, or the money.
Now, when it comes to time and money, it seems to be written all over translation industry-related websites that Terminology can help you spend less, or even earn more. Is that even possible? In order to clarify this subject, let’s discuss the importance of terminology and, whether your company should bother investing time creating it. Let’s dive in!
#1. Do I really need to handle terminology?
This very much depends on what type of content you translate, and what type of localization project you are looking to complete. For example, if you are translating a 2-page Word document that will be used only within your department once or twice, you don’t need to manage terminology. This is true especially if you are not going to translate any similar content any time soon.
However, if you translate a website or a piece of software, terminology management will save you a lot of trouble down the road. This is true because the majority of large localization projects take days, or even weeks, to complete.
Imagine translating an update to your software that you localized last month. Will the translator who worked on the initial translation remember all the terms they used a month ago? What if a different translator translates the update? Will they guess all the terms used by the previous translator? Without proper terminology management, any complex localization project will face problems. In short, if you want to repeatedly localize content properly, you need to manage terminology. It’s as simple as that.
Bonus knowledge! One crucial aspect people often forget while translating online content is the SEO factor. If you define certain keywords that you use for marketing purposes, it’s only reasonable to expect that you will use the same keywords throughout the whole translation, to maximize the SEO results.
#2. Do I need to put in a lot of effort?
The answer depends on how you actually manage the terminology. Our team has seen companies that share Excel sheets containing terminology for dozens of languages. They hope that people will search for the terms in Excel sheets and implement them in the translation. While this might have been a valid solution in the past, nowadays Translation Management Systems (TMS) has integrated terminology management capabilities.
When you use a modern TMS, you can actually enter terminology while you are translating the content. You can also import your old Excel terminology repositories so that the proposals are shown to the translator within the editor. This way there is no need to switch back and forth between the Excel and the actual editor, and the room for error is reduced.
In short, getting started with terminology was a much more time-consuming task in the past. Nowadays, terminology can be managed on the fly, so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time and still get great results. Oh, and there is also an integrated QA Report which actually checks if all the terminology has been used correctly and consistently. All set!
#3. Will I profit from this?
Besides the obvious points we mentioned in the previous two answers, such as reducing the time of translation, the time of review, the number of errors, etc. there is another very important aspect people tend to ignore.
While all the above will result in direct savings, since time is money, and less time spent on creating and localizing content means more money down the line, there is also a more subtle way for you to benefit from terminology management.
If your terminology is well-managed, your company and your product/service will look more professional. Your brand will look more professional, which will help potential customers decide whether they want to place their faith (and money) in you. It’s something which is not easily measured, but we all know that a product which does not look professional has less chance for success than a well-polished one.
If all this sounds interesting, but you are not sure where to start, you can always reach out to us. We love talking about localization and helping others find their unique way, based on the resources they have at hand. As always, there are no strings attached, so let’s talk!