Glossary vs termbase
Thread poster: cbcoti

cbcoti
Local time: 03:23
English to Danish
Feb 28, 2013

I try to read up, and I often see mention of "glossaries and termbase", like they are two different things. I often see TM vs termbase or TM vs glossary explanations.... but what's the difference between glossary and termbase??

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The content alone vs. the electronic function? Mar 1, 2013

Purely a few thoughts out of the top of my head, but this is how I see it.

The word termbase does not seem to be in the dictionaries I have within reach, but a glossary, according to the Concise Oxford, is

glossary
n noun (plural glossaries) an alphabetical list of words relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with explanations.

Delightfully scholarly, and even a little glossary may be the result of a lot of hard work and careful research.
In our world the 'explanations' may be translations into another language.

Termbase is obviously a contraction terminology database.

To me, a termbase is an electronic facility, possibly integrated with a CAT, where terminology can be stored, or where you can build up a glossary.

A glossary can be formatted and imported into a termbase.
Both termbases and glossaries can be multilingual.

A termbase may be a collection of different equivalents used in translation rather than strictly a glossary to explain meanings.
______________________

My personal Trados Multiterm is in fact a hotch potch of terms I have collected over the years and find useful to have at my fingertips for various reasons. One is that I am a poor typist, and usually spell them wrong - The month October, (Cotober) among many others!

Or long names of public authorities, all sorts of things. I do not transfer everything I can find in a dictionary to my termbase. Things that I have to check frequently, but which are the same in any context are suitable candidates, like the Danish Health and Medicines Authority and many more... that save me Google searches or typing strokes.

I do also use it as a glossary for terminology, so, as I say, it is a hotch potch.
But so is any general dictionary.

_______________________

In the language of CAT providers, the function is central - so they talk about a termbase. When delivered, there is no glossary in it.

The glossary is the content of the termbase if you like - which can be filtered, extracted, imported to another termbase etc. etc.

I don't suppose everybody is strict about differentiating one from the other, and sometimes it is difficult or doesn't matter!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:23
Chinese to English
Format Mar 1, 2013

I'd understand this just to be a difference of format. A glossary might be delivered in Excel or even Word format. A termbase is in a format that can be automatically incorporated into a CAT tool. I use SDL Studio, so I like to receive my glossaries as termbases in the SDL Multiterm format.

If you haven't yet decided on your translation company, you don't necessarily know what software they'll use, so you might be wisest to use a standard format (Excel) which can easily be converted into whatever termbase format your translators need.

Thank you for thinking about this stuff in advance - this level of preparations gladdens a translator's heart, and makes it much easier for us to do a good job.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I have no idea, but... Mar 1, 2013

cbcoti wrote:
I try to read up, and I often see mention of "glossaries and termbase", like they are two different things.


I think people whose CAT tools use the term "term base" should tell us if their CAT tools have a separate function called "glossary" or not, but my suspicion is that they don't. This means that "term base" and "glossary" is the same thing, and it depends on what your CAT tool calls it.

In the most recent version of WFP, for example, they developer reverted back to using the word "glossary" (see here: http://www.proz.com/forum/wordfast_support/244246.html#2101906 ).

I once thought that a glossary was a simplified terminology service and a term base must be a more complex type of terminology service, but I suspect that that is simply not so. CAT tool developers like the word "base" because it creates the impression that their program uses advanced technology.


 

Bernard Lieber  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:23
English to French
+ ...
Hits vs no Hits Mar 1, 2013

As pointed out by Christine, the difference between a glossary and a termbase is that when a termbase is used in CAT tools, you get hits, the terms listed in it show up in a separate window. When using a glossary (Excel or cvs format), you have to look up a specific term and cut and paste it.

You can also import a glossary into a termbase and export a glossary from a termbase for compatibility with other CAT tools.

With some CAT tools, you can also "mine" terminology from TMs to build an additional termbase.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Keep an open mind Mar 1, 2013

Bernard Lieber wrote:
When using a glossary ..., you have to look up a specific term and cut and paste it.


Some CAT tools refer to their term bases as "glossaries" and they are perfectly capable of being used inside the CAT tool with exactly the same features as the so-called "term bases" in other CAT tools. So if a CAT tool claims to have support for "glossaries" it may well mean that it supports term bases.

Somehow the word "termbase" conjures up an image to me of something gigantic and complex, whereas "glossary" seems to imply something simple and straight-forward.

Whether your CAT tool calls it a glossary or a term base may indeed make a difference to the way you use it in that tool. I get the impression that term bases in some CAT tools contain thousands upon thousands of entries, complete with definitions, example sentences, parts of speech, context markers, etc, etc. In other words, basically electronic dictionaries. I don't think I would ever be able to use such a term base... but give me a simple, efficient, task-specific glossary any day, for better productivity and terminological consistency.


 

Bernard Lieber  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:23
English to French
+ ...
Point Taken Mar 1, 2013

Hi Samuel,

Indeed, with some CAT tools, you can simply use a text-based file as a glossary, no need for a termbase.


 

cbcoti
Local time: 03:23
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
We might need the digital solution Mar 4, 2013

Thank you very much for the answers. I think I can conclude that a glossary is exactly what one would think it is, which is a colletion of words and explanations and/or translations. A termbase is a database for words and phrases, is that correct?

Our products are aimed for a very specific audience, and I expect that no translator would have this narrow specialization. This means that both single words and some phrases need to be determined by internal people, before materials are sent out for translation.

Additionally, I would like for our materials to be aligned with deliveries from other departments. We invent new terms all the time, and one term can change several times, while we are working on text materials. This gives a risk of inconsistency. Most writers in different departments work with MS Word.

Is it possible to get some kind of terminology management tool that can work with MS Word as well as will professional translation tools? Or should I think in an entirely different direction?


 

trhanslator (X)
CafeTran calls termbases glossaries Mar 5, 2013

Bernard Lieber wrote:

Indeed, with some CAT tools, you can simply use a text-based file as a glossary, no need for a termbase.


This is true for CafeTran. When I started using this CAT tool, I always wondered why the developer called the termbases 'glossaries'. A few years later, I've got used to the word 'glossary'icon_wink.gif.

CafeTran's glossaries are simple text files that can be very large (1 million lines). They can be used for stemming, can contain notes, alternative target terms (like synonyms) and subject fields:

http://cafetran.wikidot.com/the-new-glossary-entry-dialog

So, for me the words 'glossary' and 'termbase' are referring to the same concept.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:23
Chinese to English
SDLs does Mar 5, 2013

cbcoti wrote:

Is it possible to get some kind of terminology management tool that can work with MS Word as well as will professional translation tools? Or should I think in an entirely different direction?

I don't particularly want to advertise for SDL, so this should not be taken as an endorsement. I just happen to know that SDLs terminology management software, Multiterm, can be integrated directly into Word. Never used it myself, so I don't know how well it works. But any standalone terminology management suite will integrate with word processors. Google and ye shall find.


 

trhanslator (X)
Transit too Mar 5, 2013

Phil Hand wrote:

cbcoti wrote:

Is it possible to get some kind of terminology management tool that can work with MS Word as well as will professional translation tools? Or should I think in an entirely different direction?

I don't particularly want to advertise for SDL, so this should not be taken as an endorsement. I just happen to know that SDLs terminology management software, Multiterm, can be integrated directly into Word. Never used it myself, so I don't know how well it works. But any standalone terminology management suite will integrate with word processors. Google and ye shall find.


Transit comes with a Word template to provide that function too.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 08:23
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Not in Igor's set-up Mar 5, 2013

trhanslator wrote:
So, for me the words 'glossary' and 'termbase' are referring to the same concept.

Well, CT's Project Manager still shows a "Memory for Terms", a TMX file among others, not the format for glossaries which is TXT.
termbase.png
You prefer a txt-based termbase, and as a matter of fact, so do I.

I agree with most people here that a "termbase" is general, whereas a "glossary" or "lexicon" is project/subject/client specific. The file format doesn't seem to matter. In CT it can be TMX, TXT or one of many "real" database formats.

Cheers,

Hans


 


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