Terminology in translation

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This picture shows how terminology is important when you say "coffee".

What exactly is terminology?

Terminology represents one of the fundamental aspects of translation. A translation done correctly but with one or two incorrect terms repeated 50 times can be the difference between success and failure.

How does Copypanthers deal with it?

Terminology is not just about words that you don’t know. No translation agency or translator can be an expert in every industry. Therefore, we have a system that allows us to deliver great translation with the right terms. At the beginning of a project, we’ll ask a language specialist to go through the document and collect terminology. This list is then sent to the client to be approved. When doing this, we ask that words and phrases be gathered in the following areas:
  • all industry specific words
  • brand names and trademarks
  • marketing slogans
  • country-specific concerns: URLs, phone numbers, company names
  • questionable words where it’s unclear whether they should be translated
  • strange/odd words that put a question mark in your mind
We will provide a resource where all this information can be centralised and shared between all the language specialists involved in the project, as well as the client (most likely a Google doc).

Give options

One very important and helpful way to deal with uncertain terminology is to always provide options for the client. Saying, “We don’t know,” gives the wrong message, but giving the client 3 options makes the client’s life easy and shows that you have full control over the process. Here are some more helpful links: Or visit our Resources Portal to learn more about translation and SEO writing!

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