Only Correct Terminology Wins

Terminology is the term for all the various designations and terms within a specific subject area.

Incorrect terminology inevitably leads to poor technical translations and requires complex post-processing.

80% of translation deficiencies are due to incorrect or inconsistent terminology.

Terminologie bei Übersetzungen

What is Terminology?

The basis of every successful translation is a glossary. Usually, it already exists, but it can also be created by the translator, in collaboration with the client.

Depending on the field of expertise, and the degree of complexity, it’s rarely adequate to merely compare a word in the source language to a word in the target language. Often, additional context must be considered. Such as area of expertise, definition, context, reference to the source, etc., in order to ensure that the correct translation is procured. Photos can also be helpful!

Translating a technical text is only possible if one has the vocabulary in the specific area of expertise, that is, its specific terminology. The translator is forced to familiarize him/herself with the terminology of the text in question before the actual translation.” (cf. Arntz, Picht, Mayer — Introduction to Terminology Work, 2002)

Why is Terminology Important?

The importance of having consistent terminology can’t be overemphasized. A survey conducted by the American magazine Multilingual identified it as one of the main problems facing international companies in relation to translations:

Nearly 80% of  respondents said that the main problem with translations relates to terminology: either there is no specific terminology, or it is not used consistently. Existing glossaries are not updated and there is no company-wide access.”

Terminology should always be consistent throughout an organization. Only by maintaining a single terminology database can you ensure the consistency of terminology, and ensure that your corporate identity regulations are followed.

The language industry is accustomed to dealing with differing expressions, styles and preferences, but when we come across inconsistent terminology, particularly in the target language, confusion and requests for clarification are common. The added costs and extra time required to provide clarification for complex technical terms that are not consistent, can be significant. Ideally, the issue shouldn’t even come up to begin with.  

Uniform terminology is essential for seamless comprehension of phrases in the target language. Under certain circumstances, when operating machinery, for example, it can be an issue of great importance. It can have a significant impact on business operations, maintenance, health, safety and accident prevention.

Terminology Management Helps You Avoid 80% of the Problems Experienced within the Translation Process.

How Will Terminology Management Help Your Business?

Conscientious terminology management can facilitate the re-use of existing translations, reduce translation errors, shorten revision time, and help streamline the process of content creation and localization.” (cf. Rebecca Schneider, in: The language of localization, 2017)

How to Get it Right!

Thanks to collaborative workflows, terminology can be maintained and secured relatively easily, without taking up any of the the valuable time which is allocated to the translation process itself. The initial effort of setting up linguistic and subject-specific glossaries quickly pays off as it immediately reduces potential errors; unnecessary confusion is avoided and the quality of translation is improved.

A new customer who contacted DIE ÜBERSETZUNGSAGENTUR put it succinctly, in a nutshell:

We urgently need consistent terminology throughout our company. Yet, the workflow needs to be straightforward and the effort required should be minimized as our employees have many other important tasks. What should we do?”

DIE ÜBERSETZUNGSAGENTUR offers terminology management which is integrated into the translation process as a standard service. It’s maintained in real-time during the translation process. The outcome is that the glossary is always up-to-date and available.

Once-off solutions, frustratingly differing versions of multiple terminology glossaries, missing updates, communication gaps, and repeated errors can all be things of the past!

Integrated terminology management makes all the difference. It’s a standard service with us. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us.

Would you like to discover more about the innovative translation management process that makes DIE ÜBERSETZUNGSAGENTUR one of the leading language service providers?

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Christian Faust


Christian is a state-certified expert translator and has been working as a freelancer in the translation industry for over 30 years.

His clients include well-known companies in commerce and industry, all of whom rely on his expertise and experience.

His passion is to leverage innovation in the translation industry and create valuable services that benefit his clients. He did exactly this when he developed LoLa, MAeX® ️ & CO.

He particularly relishes hearing the words: “We always do it that way!” in consultations. 😅

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