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Terminology Management – what is it good for?

Apr, 2023
Anja Peschel

Every industry and every business has its own terminology. Here‘s how a company-specific database of terminology helps your company attain consistent quality and brand recognition, saving you time and money. 

The words and phrases you use to describe and identify your company, products and services are your corporate terminology. It may include technical nomenclature, phrases, trademarks, product names, slogans and abbreviations. These reflect your industry’s standards and speak to your expertise. They also make your company recognisable and ensure consistency. 

Terminology management is the process of identifying, storing and maintaining your terminology. The identification of specific terms that are relevant and affiliated with your company is called extraction. Unlike a dictionary, terminology management is organized by concept, not by word. 

Overall, terminology management will strengthen your company’s identity through coherency, relevance, and consistency. It helps you to:

  • be recognisable and inspire confidence in your customers;
  • ensure quality and avoid embarrassing or even costly mistakes;
  • save time and money by having the terms you need at your fingertips;
  • ensure your internal communication runs smoothly.

Why can terminology be a challenge and what can you do about it?

No one knows your products and services better than you do. Likewise, you are a real expert in your industry. So why should terminology management ever be a challenge? Here’s why:

  • For many terms, there is more than one option.
  • Different communication channels and communicators need to be coordinated.
  • You don’t speak all the languages for all your markets.
  • You might lack a centralised place to store and maintain terms.
  • The staff across your company may not recognise the importance of coordinated terminology use.
  • Terminology may change over time.

Even once you have identified the relevant terms and phrases, you still need effective processes to document, maintain and communicate your choices and ensure they are upheld. This is all the more relevant when it comes to non-domestic markets, whose language and stakeholders you might not be entirely familiar with. Terminology management enables everyone within your business to use the same language when describing your products, services and processes.

How can you organize your terminology management in all markets?

The key to good terminology management is a centralised location to store and maintain terms. This can be a simple glossary or a multilingual database if you are active in more than one language. Such a database enables you to:

  • Give all stakeholders access to the relevant terms, slogans and phrases
  • Keep terms consistent and relevant with real-time updates
  • Save time and ensure quality and consistency

You also need someone who can dedicate time and effort to maintaining your database and to ensure that the terminology is actually used. A very effective option is to work with your language service provider and tap into their existing technology. They routinely manage customer-specific termbases and can help you to not just establish the right terminology but also maintain it long term. 

Save time and money: a return on investment

Sounds great, but won’t that cost you more money? It is understandable you may view terminology management as an additional cost. However, return on investment is guaranteed through ensuring effective and efficient internal and external professional communication

Integrating terminology management will speed up content creation and translation by having a corporate language database with preferred wording at your fingertips. Not only will terminology management save you time and money. It is also a cost avoidance measure, preventing your entity from producing content that needs to be removed or revised – for example because it doesn’t perform, is inaccurate or even illegal. Incorrect terminology can cause significant financial damage. 

You can reduce these risks while saving time and money by employing a qualified language service provider to establish a custom terminology database across all the languages you need.

Curate your global corporate identity and generate a custom terminology database that is right for your company. 

Contact Peschel Communications for our terminology management services.

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