Translation Industry News | 29.01.2010

The times they are a-changin’ for terminology management

CSOFT (the multilingual software service provider) have unveiled TermWiki™ – the first wiki-based terminology management system. It is currently at the beta testing stage with a launch date set for spring 2010.

This is big news in the language world. Terminology management standards are vital for any project or campaign and failure to apply proper systems and procedures can result in vocabulary inconsistencies and have a negative impact upon the finished product. Companies with a global presence are finding their translation budgets escalate as the spread of globalisation has meant a growing need for the provision of multi-lingual information; not only for external clients and end users, but also internally for international workforces. Implementing successful strategies in this respect has never been so important.

Terminology management is sometimes referred to as the electronic version of the dreaded filing – many people know it should be done, but few relish the task. This is why this new wiki has been branded as revolutionary to the way in which terminology is managed. As reported by Global Watchtower, many businesses suffer from an absence of formal terminology management, citing the following reasons for the lack of relevant software or systems: high cost, low levels of usability and limited ability to integrate the solution. Yet the advantages of adopting terminology policies certainly outweigh the disadvantages and extra time spent in this area could mean better streamlined product development, documentation, marketing and support.

CSOFT claim that for enterprises and language service providers, this is ‘terminology management in real-time, ensuring that in all stages of product development, their organization consistently speaks with one voice’. Technically, it certainly seems to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts: there is a tracking facility which provides information about changes (author, date and reason); its interface is user-friendly and familiar; support is available to upload images; there is a plug-in facility; and it also boasts ‘customizable forms embedded in system to facilitate compliance with relevant ISO standards’.

It would appear that TermWiki™ has the potential to become a welcome translation tool for both language service providers and their clients alike, and with a familiar user interface, the package certainly looks set to be a hit in offices worldwide. Now, if only they could invent a real-time virtual filing machine . . .

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