How to make glossaries while not padding them
Thread poster: Olga Offermann
Olga Offermann
Germany
Local time: 14:30
German to Russian
+ ...
Jan 10, 2009

Dear colleagues,

I make several glossaries on the basis of my translated texts, and specifically classified by subjects but at the same time I don’t want to pad my glossaries. In my opinion, they must contain only necessary terms. That’s why I have a question on pros who is well experienced in making glossaries. Is it reasonable and easy-to-use to list ALL new terms I didn’t know before (in spite of availability of many terms in usual dictionaries, reference books etc.) or only those ones that have new meanings in my translating practice?

I would accept any advice! Thanks a lot!


[Edited at 2009-01-11 07:50 GMT]


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:30
German to English
Several criteria Jan 11, 2009

There are a number of criteria you may apply to your glossaries:

1. Unfamiliar terms, i.e., those which you must look up. Having checked a definition doesn't always mean that you'll remember it the next time you encounter it a few months or years later.

A subset of this could be terms you discover while looking for something else.

2. Terms that have context/application-specific meanings. A term used in mechanical engineering may have an entirely different meaning when used in an IT context.

A subset of this could be company-specific terminology. For example, some automotive companies in the US prefer the term "powertrain" while others use "drivetrain" to refer to the engine, transmission and related components.

3. Neologisms or terms which have no standard 1:1 translation, the meaning of which you understand intuitively, and for which you must craft a translation. Although Google must be used with care when seeking a translation, it does give a reasonable indication of the distribution of a term (or its misspelled variants) in a language. If a Google search of a term (or variants) doesn't yield any hits in the source language, then it's likely you've encountered a neologism or a very rare term. It could be very useful to keep track of such terms, as they could become standard in a particular company or industry.


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Olga Offermann
Germany
Local time: 14:30
German to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 12, 2009

Kevin it has hit the spot! Thank you!

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:30
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just one approach: anything that will take time again Jan 12, 2009

In my case I record anything that takes time researching or confirming with solid references. It could be the name of a part of a motor, the spelling of Kazakhstan in Spanish or the term a customer prefers for some feature.

Anything requested by a customer or that will take time researching when it comes around again (tomorrow or in 5 years time), goes into the termbase.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 14:30
English to Hungarian
+ ...
method Jan 12, 2009

Olga Kostyleva wrote:

Dear colleagues,

Is it reasonable and easy-to-use to list ALL new terms I didn’t know before (in spite of availability of many terms in usual dictionaries, reference books etc.) or only those ones that have new meanings in my translating practice?

I would accept any advice! Thanks a lot!


I think this has a lot to do with how you translate. If you use a CAT with terminology software like Multiterm, it is fairly easy to add terms as they come along. Select term, hit shortcut, select other term, hit other shortcut, press enter and done. Multiterm and the like also allow you to use gigantic termbases without any loss in speed/efficiency, so there is no real downside to adding lots of terms. Actually, even adding terms that you know makes sense because it can speed up translation (you won't need to type them again).

If you use spreadsheets that you search manually, that's a whole different story. Especially if you are in the habit of assembling your glossaries after the translation is done.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:30
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Who is the user? Jan 12, 2009

Olga Kostyleva wrote:
I don’t want to pad my glossaries.


What is "necessary" and appropriate will depend on the purpose of your glossary. I, for example, put a lot of stuff in my glossaries that would make absolutely no sense to someone who is not using the same specific CAT tool. If I am making a glossary for customer use, I probably purge over half that content and spend more time on aesthetic issues.

You didn't mention the medium in which you are compiling your glossaries. Whatever you use, please keep in mind the importance of not cluttering your terms with metadata or other information. If you include synonyms, make separate entries for these and/or note them in an additional field. Examples and notes on scope belong in separate fields, too. This can be very important if your glossaries are used as QA tools with certain CAT software like Trados or DVX - if you junk up the term entries with silliness like grammatical case or examples, you'll mess up the pattern matching completely. I have a customer who supplies me with an Excel list to be used for some patent work, but he never learned to clean up his data, so it takes me over an hour to filter out the junk every time he updates his list. Very irritating and unnecessary.


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