What is Terminotics?

Industry Trends & Innovation

As you can tell by its name, Terminotics is the meeting point of three different disciplines – Terminology, Linguistic Engineering and Computational Linguistics – and it relies on electronic corpora to extract and collect terms.

How Terminotics works

What is Terminotics in practice? First, we will explore three powerful tools:

  • Terminology management systems
  • Terminology extractors
  • Terminology verifiers

Terminology management systems

Have you ever spent hours doing research to find the right equivalent in your target language? Imagine you are translating an acronym or an abbreviation, and you have no idea of what they mean or how to render them in the target text.

The good news is that there are specialized software and terminology management systems that can help you achieve accurate and consistent translations by organizing terms in a termbase, which can be accessed and managed anytime you want.

What is a termbase?

A termbase is a collection of terms related to a particular subject, and it can be monolingual or multilingual, depending on the client. A good termbase should include the term, its translation in other languages, the subject field, and the term status: preferred, deprecated or prohibited, and admitted. Remember to always update these databases by adding new definitions or deleting obsolete terms so all users have access to the latest terminology. It is also crucial to define access and usage rights in advance and make the termbase accessible to all employees.

Terminology extractors

I used to translate social media posts for a science and technology organization in astronomy. Before starting to translate, I had to read many similar documents on the internet to get familiar with the topic. Can language professionals relate?

In these situations, it would be a good idea to use a terminology extractor tool to build your own glossary with domain-relevant terms. These tools work together with existing translation assets, such as translation memories and termbases. They automatically detect term candidates, which can be saved in a terminological database.

At the end of the extraction process, all extracted terms will appear in a list. Still, a “human touch” is necessary to select and confirm term candidates to be included in the terminology database. In this way, you can quickly identify the domain of the documents you are dealing with and get familiar with the terminology.

Moreover, you can use terminology extraction as a starting point for more complex linguistic tasks such as knowledge management, semantic similarity, finding collocations and machine translation.

Terminology verifiers

Last but not least, let’s talk about the terminology verifiers. This tool can polish your translation work and ensure you used the recommended words in the termbase. The terminology verifier will immediately tell you if you used a term marked as “obsolete” or “forbidden” in your termbase. If so, you receive a report containing annotated text marked in different colors for each inconsistency detected. These tools can be used before or after the translation of your documents.

If you want to produce a high-quality text, my advice would be to integrate the verifier in your text editor with add-ins to proactively curtail inconsistencies. These tools check whether numbers, dates, formatting, punctuation, spelling, and grammar are correct in the QA phase. They will also confirm that you used the same number of tags in your target text and warn if you left segments as untranslated or copied.

Benefits of Terminotics

Now that I’ve explained how terminotics works, I’ll tell you how it can improve your work in terms of quality, time, and customer satisfaction.

First, we talked about termbases. Having a set of terminological data is beneficial. When working with teams located in different countries, it’s advantageous because it can ensure that all translators use the same terminology and convey the same message across different markets. The result? Terminological consistency between the translator, the LSP and the client.

If you are an LSP, using standardized terminology in your translated content will enhance your brand identity in foreign markets. Suppose your terminology standardization processes all follow the same workflow and use the same shared terms among users. In that case, your internal and external resources will really appreciate working with a company like yours; you’ll win your customers’ loyalty and automatically improve your global business.

With the terminotics, you’ll speed up research work thanks to the programs for the extraction and verification of terms. No longer will you need to manually search, or worse, perform manual revisions. It is hard and time-consuming to localize long technical texts without a termbase. So, if you are looking for time-saving tools, terminotics is the answer. Well-built and up-to-date termbases and glossaries are powerful allies for all language professionals. They save translators and proofreaders a lot of time, resulting in less stress and smoother workflow. This also mean increased earnings – when you save time, you have more time for translating new words.

But wait, that’s not all…

Pre-existing terminology research saves linguists time by reusing terms or phrases that have already been translated. This results in fewer new words being charged and will save your LSP money, who will be even happier!