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Current Terminology Management Systems: designed to make you think hard

Current TMSs have been developed according to the requirements defined by ISO standards for terminology management systems. Nevertheless, the process of creating a new entry is still very time-consuming. A couple of weeks ago, I have been contacted because of a post I wrote years ago on this blog (I guess they read this: How would a collaborative platform improve terminology work?).  The sender message reads as follows: ‘Dear Maria, I read your blog article and just wanted to let you know we are building the collaborative terminology system you envisioned at the very moment. It would be a pleasure to get in touch to see if you want to test and send some feedback on our current status!’ Well, we scheduled a video call in the following days, during which they showed me the platform in progress and some mockups about a few future features they expected to implement. What I was shown looked very promising indeed - since that old post influenced somebody, I also felt encouraged to write …
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The new IATE is online. Take a look!

The new version of IATE has a completely renewed look and feel, a more intuitive user interaction and better structured data. Its accessibility has been enhanced (keyboard and screen reader support) and its design is now responsive so that it can be accesses by any device. Search results are more accurate thanks to a detailed filtered search and a domain filtering. The display of the terminology entries has been improved, including the possibility to select a bilingual, trilingual, or the whole multilingual entry.

As a member of the R&D team of IATE, the European Union terminology database, I’m thrilled to announce the release of the new revamped version of the most popular terminology database😎

We have been working for more than two years at the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, with the support of the EU institutions, to provide a more functional, modern, user-friendly IATE.
The new IATE has been completely redeveloped with new technologies, a better archite…

You are doing terminology management all wrong. Here is why

We all know the never-ending, love-hate relationship between translators and terminology… now, let’s explore some of the most common errors.
Generally speaking, when thinking of terminology, we imagine a glossary, made of two parallel columns full of terms, with the source language on one side and the target language on the other.

Easy.

And what better than an Excel file for this type of structure? Seems easy and intuitive enough. Plus, you can also add an extra column to the right, to add comments or other notes.

Well, there’s something wrong here: Excel was never designed to store text, much less terminological data.

Yes, you guessed it… Excel was created to crunch numbers, not words!

Using Excel files is not an effective or efficient way to manage complex databases. If you use it to create glossaries as mentioned above, you will not be able to specify additional attributes for those terms. It is indeed possible to add extra columns but always limited to one field or category for ea…

Terminology is the pinch of salt of translation

Last May I went to beautiful Porto to attend Aptrad’s 2nd International Conference, where I gave my presentation on terminology from a #foodporn perspective 😂. The topic was: terminology VS salting food...

If you think about it, salting food isn’t rocket science, but do you know what “a pinch of salt” actually looks like? How about the right way to sprinkle those crystals or flakes?

When a cooking step is as straightforward as “just add salt,” it’s easy to gloss over.
But since salt is arguably the most important ingredient in the kitchen, it’s worth being 100 percent sure you know exactly how to use it.



The same applies to terminology. Terminology is the pinch of salt of translation. Translators are by nature careful and scrupulous because their work requires it. But they often have a tendency to manage terminology by opting for quick and painless solutions that, nevertheless, last as long as the translation itself: they are short-term remedies to short-term problems.

By this occasi…

More than AI, terminology can tell you how something should be translated in the future

Neural machine translation systems offer an opportunity for real progress in the quality of translations produced by machines. However, machine translation still produces unacceptably poor quality content, especially for established brands that (rightly) set a very high bar for their content and brand tone of voice (that can only be set by a good terminology work). 
Given the huge effort underway to vastly improve machine translation, it’ll likely redefine the role of humans in the translation process. Shouldn't we be looking into ways of making termbases work together with machine translation engines and all the other available CAT-environment tools to contribute quality content? Terminologists need to rise to the challenge of integration with other CAT-environment tools, so that their assets can find their way into the general workflow. This can be achieved only through close cooperation with the developers of technical solutions and by understanding the specific needs of all ca…

Come smettere di essere pagati a parola ma nei nostri termini

Da tempo sui Social come Facebook e Twitter, i traduttori si stanno schierando contro un meccanismo che li spinge ad accettare lavori sottopagati: il pagamento per numero di parole.
Il mercato è pieno di balordi, ma anche noi siamo bravi a rovinare il mercato accontentandoci di essere sottopagati, perché non siamo abili nella negoziazione con il cliente e lasciamo quasi sempre vincere lui, come si diceva oggi alla BP Conference.
Questo è un meccanismo da smantellare. Mortifica il nostro lavoro e riduce il potenziale del traduttore. Ragioniamo in termini di tempo. Per tradurre 300 parole, abbiamo bisogno di 30 minuti. Queste 300 parole possono essere tradotte in 30 minuti, ma anche in un’ora. Dipende dall’argomento. In alcuni casi c’è bisogno di approfondire, seguire blog del settore, leggere articoli, consultare riferimenti vari, chiedere consigli a esperti.
Il punto è che questo: il cliente lo deve sapere, fa parte della nostra professionalità. 300 parole nate dopo una fase di studio …

How a terminologist can make your website great again

Hi WordLovers and happy New Year! It is never too late to wish you all the fun you can and a wonderful 2017 ahead!
I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holidays as much as I did and that you are finally back to work full of enthusiasm and positive energy.
An article that I recently wrote as guest blogger was published during Christmas holidays by SDL Translation Zone and I know you enjoyed it since it gained such a massive amount of likes! So thank you soo much for making my post great! If you didn’t read it yet, the article is still available online: 


4 ways a translator can make your website awesome
If you are too lazy, you can read the summary below.


Terminology and UI
Translating the User Interface (UI) of a website would appear to be an easy task. If you compare it to a normal translation project, you would think one only has to deal with a small bunch of words. This is where you would be mistaken – translating website UI is far more complex than it seems.

UI is the real and most interacti…