A term base contains the building blocks for the translation of any document or general content. It’s a database containing key terminology used by and approved by a partner. The term base helps translators ensure that each time a defined key term appears in a corresponding language, it’s used consistently and correctly.
While both term bases and glossaries can be multilingual, a termbase may be a collection of different equivalents used in translation rather than strictly an explanation of meanings as found in a glossary. It’s worth noting that a “term” here does not necessarily mean a single lexical item, but also larger structures, such as phrases.
Together with the term base, we will also work on building a list of blacklisted terms and translations to make sure we stay away from and avoid using those lexical items.
As a first step, we will begin employing freeware software alternatives to extract terminology from existing files and having it translated. As we move forward with the project, we will refine these processes and workflows.
What to include in your terminology base and glossaries
Your term base includes terms that must be translated consistently, or shouldn’t be translated at all. Choose only terms that are critical to your organization, such as:
- Organization-specific terms. Include any names associated with your organization, product or service, along with copyrighted or trademarked terms that should not be translated and that need to appear consistently in any language.
- Industry-specific terms. Words with multiple meanings can create problems for translators. The term “monitor”, for instance, can mean a computer display, a sentry, or the act of overseeing. Locking these terms down with a clear definition avoids confusion.
- Keywords. Including keywords in your term base ensures that they are used in translations consistently.
- Other data. Your term base may also contain metadata such as the definition, context, part of speech, and approval or review date; and terms that appear in your user interface or technical documentation.
For an introduction to this topic, see How to Create a Translation Style Guide and Terminology Glossary, by Lionbridge.