Validating and Consolidating Terminology Using Tools

When small teams work on documentation, it can be quite easy for them to establish agreements concerning what terms they would use for the product/service they’re creating the documentation for. It is also quite easy for them to manage those terms. After all, there are only a handful of terms to deal with and they’re only catering to a single market with a single language. Plus, they have an agreement that guides them.

But, what happens when the same company grows and now has to deal with more than one market. Well, things obviously get more complex and this complexity only grows as new markets and languages keep getting added.

One of the issues that this team will now face is managing terminology across a range of languages.

This is only one part of the problem. What happens when another team is hired to help with the management? How will they communicate with each other regarding terminology use, especially if the second team is working on a second product/service?

Then, there’s the marketing team, which has adopted some of the terms to suit their own goals without checking with the documentation teams.

We guess you are kind of getting the picture now. Valuable terminology assets are easily corrupted and they can grow to a point where managing them becomes increasingly difficult. Eventually, the worst will happen – you’ll end up with terminology silos that vary in content and structure, benefitting only a single user group.

Now, there’s no doubt about just how important it is to record, store and share proper terminology in order for content creation and translation teams to do their job. So, the big question now is whether it’s possible to clean up the terminology chaos and instill order.

The good news

Well, the answer to that question is “yes, there is.” It is more than possible to organize diverse terminology assets from multiple sources. It can be done with the help of term expert tools. A corrupted terminology stack can be “cleaned up” before it goes out to audiences.

As explained earlier, terminological assets will eventually grow in size. This growth can be achieved in a very short period of time, thanks to term extraction tools that are mono and bi-lingual. But, the issue here is that growth can often be a hindrance to collaboration. Plus, the fact that terminology maintenance is never a corporate priority only makes things worse. You just end up with distributed assets that do not exist on the same information level or possess identical structures.

The solution

The solution to overcoming this problem of decentralization lies in using terminology consolidation tools. These tools help terminologists identify issues such as inconsistency or conflict and offer an estimate of the amount of cleanup/consolidation needed.

These tools come with advanced verification algorithms that compare term entries across every term asset. The issues are then highlighted via a dedicated interface, which makes recognition, as well as resolution, easy.

Needless to say, the job of every terminologist, with regard to the whole cleaning up process, becomes significantly easier. They can clean up corrupted term entries and clear conflicts by just clicking a button. There is hardly any manual sorting/comparing involved. There is no need to send out lists for the purpose of approvals and reviews. All you have to do is feed in the application and begin collaborating.

Terminology consolidation solutions can handle an almost infinite number of input files and deliver a consolidated terminology output that is consistent. This output can further be used in any other tool that you may use as part of your consolidation process.

Statistically, terminology consolidation tools reduce the time spent on conflict resolution by 90% when compared to manual tools such as Excel.

So, don’t you think it’s time you got updated?

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