Alpha Trans Tech

Terminology Management

What is terminology?


Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and phrases which describe products, services, or industry jargon. They frequently drive competitive differentiation. Most companies use an increasing number of words that are unique to their industry or organization. These unique words need to be accurately stored, shared, and translated. Terms could be anything from a product name to a marketing tag line.


What is a termbase?


A termbase is a central repository, similar to a database, which allows for the systematic management of approved terms in both source and target languages. It also allows you to control the terms you define for your business and therefore helps you control your brand consistency. Use of a termbase alongside your existing translation environment ensures that your business can become more efficient and produce more accurate and consistent translations.


How does terminology differ from a translation memory tool?


  • A terminology tool is a searchable database that contains a list of approved terms and rules regarding their usage.

  • A translation memory tool stores segments of text as translation units in source and target pairs. A segment can consist of a sentence or paragraph.

  • Translation memory is typically used in conjunction with a terminology management application to ensure terms are consistent in the translation.


Why is it important to manage terminology?


It is important to manage your corporate terminology so that you can guarantee that a consistent and accurate message is conveyed in all customer touchpoints and languages. Without managing terminology, it is likely that inconsistencies will occur with both source and translated content. Such inconsistencies confuse and frustrate your customers, damaging your brand and negatively affecting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

By centrally managing multilingual terminology, multiple departments and translators are able to access the approved company terminology and apply it consistently across documentation, ensuring a consistent global brand.


For global organizations with multiple content creators operating around the globe, successfully maintaining a consistent brand message in multiple languages is no easy task. Inconsistent terminology causes issues such as the following:


  • 64% of businesses believe that inconsistent terminology has a negative effect on branding, and 85% notice inconsistent uses of terminology across the organization

  • Inconsistent marketing messages affect the global brand, sending the wrong message to potential customers and new markets

  • Inconsistencies in collateral and documentation confuse existing customers and create additional burdens on support

  • Products cannot be shipped simultaneously to global markets because the localization department is not managing terminology


By successfully managing your corporate terminology, not only are you protecting your organization’s global brand, you are also creating a foundation for consistent communication and knowledge sharing throughout your organization.