The importance of terminology: why is it crucial to involve the client in terminology work?

Saving time and money, ensuring a high-quality product and customer satisfaction – these are just a few of the advantages for the client if they participate in terminology work.

The expressions and words that one comes across during translation can be divided into three groups: those which can be considered general vocabulary, i.e. general language; those which use technical terminology, i.e. specialised language for a particular subject field; and those which belong to so-called “intercompany terminology”, i.e. the language a particular company uses and understands. It is of the utmost importance for the various branches of an enterprise, for example marketing, finance, human resources, production, legal department, etc., that their members can communicate with each other easily and without misunderstandings in order for the company to operate successfully. This goal is only attainable if the terminology – the words and expressions used within a company – is coherent and understandable for everyone, both for the employees within the company and for customers.

Coherence, improved clarity and clear communication are the main goals of terminology work, including issues like the usage of British or US English, avoiding synonyms for one term, and taking any additional information into account. It means that, depending on various aspects (subject, definition, image or context), a term can be translated differently or example, when translating into in German “item” can be interpreted as “Artikel” in the field of manufacturing, “Element” for user interface contexts, or even “Teil” in discrete manufacturing. Unmanaged terminology can have serious consequences, ranging from delays, misunderstandings, unhappy customers, more customer support calls and even to frustration, content multiplication and even legal issues.

The involvement of the client into terminology work – which should be separated from the translation itself – is indispensable. Background documents, feedback, time, money and effort are needed to provide a quality service. However, terminology management can reduce costs, and shorten the time spent not only on communication within the different sectors, but also the time spent on translation and quality assurance, because the translator does not have to spend hours searching for technical terms (sometimes ending up finding a term which is not appropriate for a particular company). The cost of translation will also be reduced, since we can use the existing terminology for subsequent jobs as well.

By Zsuzsanna Javori, Quality Assurance Team at Eurideas

2 languages, 20 documents, 70,000 words – one extraordinary project

Recently, one of our valued clients contacted us with an unusual request: translating a large batch of documents examining Ukrainian-Russian relationships, military transactions, missile purchases, the personal backgrounds of businessmen, and so on. The files for translation couldn’t have been more diverse – these included transcripts of interviews, contracts, and letters, but also screenshots from Facebook and handwritten notes. On top of that, they were written partly in Ukrainian and partly in Russian, sometimes switching back and forth between the two languages.

In the case of large projects like that, it is crucial to assemble the right team of linguists. As always, we were looking for native speakers of the target language (which in this case was English) who are experienced in law and social affairs. This has proved to be a difficult task, since it’s not easy to select linguists in the Russian-English and Ukrainian-English language combinations.

However, after the team was ready, the project ran quite smoothly. The linguists were not only great professionals in the field but also kind and flexible, which made cooperation more of a pleasure than a burden. The translations were continually delivered to the client for almost a month, making this project the longest-lasting of all Euridea’s jobs in the summer of 2017.

The project was challenging, not only for the translators but also for me (the project manager), and for the QA team. Handling all the documents, making sure that all of them were translated perfectly and on time, required a lot of concentration – not to mention that every single step had to be administered correctly. As a new colleague at Eurideas, this was my first big translation project, and while it was very difficult to manage, I have now gained great experience.

Given the confidential nature of the documents, these translations are intended for internal use and will probably not be published on any platform; however, we hope that we could contribute to the success of our client and maintain this long-lasting and fruitful relationship.

By Kata Vas, Eurideas project management team