in Localization Tips, Our People

It’s the day after Monday, which means we’re back for more Tuesday Tips on localization and translation from different members of the CSOFT family. Today, CSOFT’s Chief Architect and content management guru, Sam, will share with everyone some suggestions on how to become better equipped to manage terminology and multilingual glossaries more efficiently.


1. Spreadsheets are good, but there are better ways to manage terminology.

Sam has been working with terminology management solutions for a long time, and he understands why most people intuitively turn to Excel for managing their terminology. But even though Excel is great for smaller projects, it can very quickly become quite time-consuming when more than one language comes into play or when more than one party is involved. Using spreadsheets alone to manage massive glossaries is not recommended. Sam says you need a terminology management system.

2. Even then, sometimes a simple terminology management system is not enough.

A system to manage terminology is necessary, but not just any system. The internet is becoming more and more popular, and Sam believes this is something to take advantage of. A terminology management system that is online for all project stakeholders to access remotely, and which is built around the notion of collaboration, will help maintain consistency between your multilingual terms. Therefore promoting seamless collaboration within an accessible terminology management system is ideal.

3. Listing attributes is as important as listing the term and its translation.

Sometimes a term and its translation are not enough. And in some cases, even definitions can be confusing or not as clearly stated as your content developers, translators, and reviewers need them to be.

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Sam thinks one of the great things about TermWiki is that, in the system, each term not only comes with a definition and translation, but other attributes are listed as well to provide users with a more enhanced experience when managing or using terminology. These attributes (or data categories) include defining a term’s industry, specific product categorization, synonyms, and part of speech.  An online system like TermWiki also supports video clips and images for contextual reference.

Sam has been part of the CSOFT family for five years. Born in the capital of China, he spent many years overseas, having immigrated to Toronto, Canada before finding himself back here in Beijing. Sam relaxes by playing sports (ping pong and football in particular) and he really enjoys summer months full of outdoor activities in the warm weather. He is also a year-round chess player.

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  1. This is a good article to read for those in the business of translation and need a good process for term management. My company uses pretty much exactly what you suggest, however, I don’t believe we have as many contextual reference fields. Good thoughts though and we can attest to the usefulness of the online collaboration for review.

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