Terminology Database

People in the content production and translation industry typically talk about “terminology databases”. Increasingly, however, terminology databases include more than just “terminology”. To serve certain needs, they may include general language words, product names, search keywords, marketing expressions, and even full phrases.

At Termologic, we do, of course, develop terminology databases. But our philosophy is to tailor the database to the business requirements… whatever that entails. We make sure that your investment will deliver results in as many business applications as possible. Termologic is the only consulting company that specializes in developing terminology databases that are fully “repurposable” for a wide range of business-saving applications, not ONLY for translation.

The information your company produces contains words specifically chosen to promote your company, sell your products or services, and communicate effectively with employees, suppliers, and customers. Certain words carry special weight and meaning, such as the names of products, services, and other offerings, and words specific to your field of commercial activity. Marketing materials are written with a unique style and selection of words. Effective search keywords can be embedded in your content to raise search results of your Web pages. We call all these “special” words terms because they can have a significant impact on your company’s image.

If you don’t take measures to manage the language used in your company, then you are allowing problems to occur. These problems include using terms that are inappropriate, and allowing inconsistencies to occur across your information set. The consequences can be serious, from legal liabilities to out-of-control development costs and lost revenue. It is obvious why many companies have a Style Guide, with a special section on terminology and word usage. But if your approach to managing your corporate language is reduced to a few pages in a style guide, you are not doing nearly enough. The only way to effectively ensure the quality of languge in your organization is by using content production technologies, the nuts and bolts of which is a terminology database.

Terminology management has existed as a sub-field of information technology for quite a few years. But the focus has always been on how to fix problems that arise during the translation of information from one language to another. We take a different approach; we’ve been advocating for years that content needs to be managed when information is first being written. Many problems in language usage start long before the text is translated. They can even be present in texts that are never translated. Proactively managing your corporate language during the entire content creation and maintenance workflow — before, during, and after translation — is critical to communicating effectively.

Industry analysts report that managing terminology is an integral part of content management (see, for example, reports by TAUS and the Common Sense Advisory). Indeed, many Fortune 500 companies have implemented terminology management programs in order to better compete in global markets: IBM, Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, Medtronic, Xerox, The World Bank Group, SAS, SAP, Agilent Technologies, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle, to name just a few.

If you are interested in learning more about the value of terminology management, take a look at our White Paper:

Developing a business case

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