Focusing on Quality
What is a termbase?
A termbase is a list of terms that is specially compiled for a particular client, product or service.
Take, for example, a client who manufactures high tech medical instruments. This area is highly specialised and contains medical and technical terminology. Every manufacturer knows their field’s terminology best. Therefore, that is the best consultant when it comes to the translation of texts about his or her own products. In order to give the client a 100% guarantee that the translators will use the approved terms for his translation projects, we ask them to assist us in compiling the termbase.
Creating a termbase
The process of creation is simple. The termbase is created by the translator of the text before the actual translation. The process consists of extracting key terms from the text, which are then translated by the translator. All the client, a manufacturer of medical instruments, needs to do is review the final termbase and approve or change the suggested translation. Next, we import the termbase into the CAT tool and thus we can be sure that the translator/translators will use these exact terms. This process, of course, is only valid when the client is familiar with the language into which the text will be translated.
“Translation into a foreign language” case scenario, (a language the client has no command of)
Once again, we create a termbase because its many benefits perfectly warrant the time it takes to create. The terminological dictionary instantly identifies a given word or collocation from the source text as a term and offers the translator a suggestion for its translation. This way, no matter the number of translators working and the time gap between an older and a more recent translation, it is guaranteed that the chosen terms will be translated the same way throughout the whole text and in all texts of our client.
What happens if the translators don’t follow the termbase suggestions?
Non-compliance with the suggested terms will be detected in the quality control checks. Quality control is performed through multiple verifications during the translation itself and after its completion; for example inconsistency in the translation of identical texts, the same translation is used for different source texts, numeric mismatch, double blanks, inconsistent first letter case. Some verifications wouldn’t even allow the project to be finalized, until the errors are corrected.
A peek behind the scenes
The Oltrans Translation Agency uses the SDL Trados Studio translation software, creates and manages termbases using Trados Multiterm and utilizes them with the Trados Termbase module. The quality control programs that we use are QA Distiller and xBench.
Termbases are organized into entries: each entry consists of at least one term. A typical termbase entry comprises a term, its translation in one or more languages, and descriptive information about both the entry as a whole and every individual term. The termbase entries can be classified and each entry category is called a ‘class’.
Termbase well used – happy client
And what happened to our client, the medical instruments manufacturer? He can rest assured that, after his text was translated and edited by a second linguist, who performed quality control, all the terms in his highly specialized text are correct and in their proper places.
Read all about translation with translation memory.
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