Terminology Management Takes the Lead

In our previous blog, we discussed the survey that we preformed at this year’s STC conference. Here are the remaining results of the survey. The main concern that our respondents identified was proper terminology management

Survey Results

We asked technical communicators to rank the significance of different technologies in localization (N/A if not applicable or unknown):

• Web 2.0 Technologies
• Online Collaboration
Crowdsourcing opens in a new window
Translation Memory
• Machine Translation
• Wikis
Terminology Management
Query Management

Below are the results from our 72 respondents:

Terminology ManagementTerminology Management

Please note that the results are from the perspective of a technical communicator, and not a localizer. Respondents ranked Terminology management as the highest, even higher than translation memory. They ranked Machine translation relatively high as well, which was a surprise to us, but not very many respondents gave it a “very high” ranking.

Query Management Confusion

It was disappointing to see the confusion around query management as more than 40% of the respondents marked it is not applicable to their work. At GlobalVision, our experience has been that the queries that the translation and localization staff ask technical communicators are an essential part of getting the translation done correctly.

Crowdsourcing translation

Translation Process Automation

Automating the process will greatly improve both the efficiency of the localization project and the quality of the results. To facilitate this exchange of data, GlobalVision has developed a tool that routes queries automatically and securely to the appropriate personnel, who can in turn respond online in a web browser.

We then asked technical communicators to rank how technology can help in these areas:

• Saving time
• Improving consistency
• Reducing translation costs
• Facilitating collaboration
• Improving text reuse
• Simplifying the process

This is how they answered:
Translation Consistency

Benefits of Technology in Translation

The benefits of technology were not underestimated by our survey participants: 50% or more of the respondents rated technology very highly in improving consistency and text reuse, as well as in saving time. Some were a bit concerned about the influence of technology on their work, stating that it complicates the process.

Importance of Consistency in Translation

It is interesting to note however that improving consistency took the lead. This confirms our calculation that query management will be important to technical writers.

The best editors of any text are the translators. This is because they don’t just read to edit, but to understand and translate. Their input and queries ultimately improve the quality of the source, its consistency, and its accuracy.

But terminology management continue to be on the forefront of their concerns since they have to remain consistent to terminology used in the software graphical user interface (GUI) and across all content assets!

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