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Poll: What type of words do you have in Multiterm?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:18
SITE STAFF
Mar 19, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What type of words do you have in Multiterm?".

This poll was originally submitted by Astrid Elke Johnson

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 20:18
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Darn .... Mar 20, 2008

and so much money spent on Multiterm (g).

My vote was "special terms": you are dead, if you have no control over the terminology when doing technical translations. But then, nobody does it evidently (*)

Regards to MultiTerm non-users

Vito

*: correction, not very many have any idea, what Astrid is talking about.

[Edited at 2008-03-20 00:29]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
English to Polish
What is Multiterm? Mar 20, 2008

That's the reply I chose.


Anni


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Let's not promote SDL Trados more than necessary Mar 20, 2008

Could this question not be asked as "What type of words do you have in your terminology system" whatever brand it may be? Well, I am sure Astrid Elke meant no harm and she does not get paid by SDL Trados for this poll (although they should appreciate this free piece of promotion). Right now, my answer was of course "I don't use it" because I do not own it.

However, my CAT tool also has a terminology module which I use constantly for compiling neat terminology lists while I translate. I even imported whole lists of KudoZ solutions from my language pair into them. The question is: in how far is the CAT tool able to integrate this terminology while working on a text. And this is where Multiterm fails IMHO, at least the Multiterm I knew some while ago.


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:18
German to English
+ ...
Voting in a corner Mar 20, 2008

Interesting to note that over two thirds of respondents (almost 70% at current voting) do not feel that this poll is at all relevant to their work. Plus those who did not even bother to vote because they did not relate to the question.

Like Wolfgang, I use another tool (DVX), and my terminology database has over 50,000 "lemmas" (words and phrases) of all types (definitely not just specialised terms). In fact, the longer phrases are actually very useful, because they are used in the assemble (or "autoassemble") function of DVX.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Reason for the poll Mar 20, 2008

Hi Vito!

Yes, indeed! I am taken by surprise by the results of the poll myself!


Hi Anni!

To answer your question, Multiterm is the termbase software which accompanies the CAT tool SDL Trados. You can create your own dictionaries on different topics and use them when you are translating. The words which are recognised by the software can be inserted into the translation with a single click.

The first advantage of having this facility is that, when you come across difficult expressions, once you have found out how to translate them you can put them into your termbase instead of writing them on little bits of paper which get lost. Then, the next time you come across the same difficult expression, and cannot remember how to translate it (I have in mind, for example, a specialised legal expression), you can insert it into your translation from Multiterm with one click and it saves you the time of finding the bit of paper or researching it all over again.

If this is the only way in which you use Multiterm at the moment, you would vote that you use it only for specialised terminology.

The second advantage, especially if you are a full-time translator and earn your entire income from translating, is to be able to speed up how many words per hour you can translate, so that you can earn more. You do this by creating termbases on different topics that you get translations on.

For example, you might decide to create a legal termbase, a financial termbase, an enterprise termbase, a football termbase, a culinary termbase.... any topic you like. You then put into these termbases a lot of words which have a straightforward translation, or which are very familiar to you, especially if they are long or if they are expressions consisting of several words. This simply speeds up the translating process, because you can add each long word or expression into your translation with a single click, and then carry on.

In particular if you use Multiterm in this way, you should have your termbases sorted out into different topics, and be sure to always put the right words into the right termbases.

You have the facility in Multiterm to choose which termbases to use for a particular translation, and the other termbases, which you do not choose, will be ignored.

This is important, because you can also set the recognition level of words. For example, you can instruct Multiterm only to recognise words that are a 100% match. In that case, you will always only get the exact word that you have entered into the termbase, or otherwise nothing.

100% match recognition is not, however, practical in languages where the same word can take different endings or be written in two slightly different ways. In this case you would be experimenting with different match recognition levels of anywhere between about 60% and 85%, to accommodate the different endings possible. This is necessary, in my case, with the source language of German. German words can also often be written in two different ways, e.g. as a single word or as two words joined by a hyphen.

However, once you set it to recognise words that are, for example, 75% similar, you could be doing a legal translation and Multiterm will suggest to you a type of food if it has a word in the food termbase that is fairly similar to the legal word. This is avoided by switching off the recognition of the food termbase while you are doing a legal translation.

Anyhow, over a period of time you try to optimise your termbases, always have the right words in the right one, have the right one switched on for recognition at a particular time, and have the right percentage setting for recognition.

Before starting to translate, you choose a list of termbases that you want to use for that translation, and then you can (and should) also sort them out into an order of priority, so that first, for example, the legal termbase will be searched, then the financial termbase, and so on.

Besides the termbases on specialised topics, it is also important to have one called "General", into which you put all terms which can occur in various different fields. If you do not do this, and put them into one of the specialised termbases instead, you will lose recognition of these terms when you have the termbase into which you entered them switched off.

Optimising Multiterm is quite a delicate art, but I find that it becomes a very important tool for quality control if you use it regularly and correctly. More on that later.

Astrid

P.S. My reason for the poll was to find out whether people are making use of this possiblity of quality control.

[Edited at 2008-03-20 09:10]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:18
Member
English to French
I (still) don't use it Mar 20, 2008

...on a regular basis. In fact I've used it for customer projects, but not to build up my own termbases. Looks complicated (termbase definition, definition here and there...)
Even though I have GBs of .csv glossaries that I can scan with SR32, an integrated environment including termbases would be nice, I admit.
I just need to get started and a few days to understand how to organise my term bank...
I am hoping to start using it on the project after next, a white IT 20kword project from a new client with no terminology background. Ideal terrain for hands-on self-training with Multiterm and Multiterm Extract!
Philippe


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:18
Italian to English
+ ...
What is Multiterm? Mar 20, 2008

OK, so now I know, but as a non-Trados user I hadn't the faintest idea (well, OK, I suppose you get a faint idea just from the name, but y'know waddi mean...).

I agree, the poll is far too specific, and as Wolfgang says, why give Trados free publicity? It's already the Microsoft of the CAT world.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It is well worth using some kind of termbase Mar 20, 2008

I have had a lot of hassle and mixed success trying to transfer Multiterm from one computer to another. Maybe I should consider a different database, but once I started using one, I was hooked.

It's not the brand but the convenience and efficiency - as Astrid says, your pieces of paper get lost, but not your database.

I use it for a very wide range of terminology, client-specific expressions and basic things like months, weekdays, countries and nationalities, which I can insert with a short cut from Multiterm instead of having to retype (and correct my notorious typos...) every time. For some strange reason my Swedish-English database seems to have oktober/October three times... But it can be edited

I'm still missing one database that I have not succeeded in transferring, but I have the terminology in a TM and have started a new database without most of the errors in the old one. Multiterm Extract will not work for me either, so this is no advert for SDL/Trados!

Nor is Multiterm as good as it claims direct from Word (for me in any case) when translating from a PDF without Trados. But at least the terminology is there once entered, and it saves riffling through other dictionaries.

I don't use all the advanced functions, in spite of a lot of effort and training courses...
But then I battled with Access and gave up. Multiterm is one step better than that!

Have fun, folks!



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tinageta  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:18
English to Latvian
+ ...
Other Mar 20, 2008

First of all, I don't use Multiterm, because I was not able to import the "old" Multiterm termbases into the new version. I could have as well thrown the money out of the window.

I use AnyLexic and am very satisfied with it, and it contains all sorts of things, including acronyms and synonyms for these annoying fashion words that the legislators and marketing people are so happy to use in any text (synergy, anyone? what about sustainability?)



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Saskia Steur  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
I always use it Mar 20, 2008

But for different reasons, depending on my needs and the type of translation.

I use it mainly to:
- gain speed
- secure consistency
- ease of use
- my peace of mind

I use if for:
- anything repetitive (nouns, phrases, specialist terminology, proper names of companíes, people, towns, countries, brand names etc.
- terminology (context specific)

I have probably not optimised it, but I am on a learning curve. I will read Elke's post in more detail later....


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:18
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Terminology junkie Mar 20, 2008

I use Transit/TermStar so I voted "other". I am definately a terminology junkie and my current dictionaries hold over 210,000 source terms. I translate only into English so I can set up my dictionaries with one word per term, with groups of words per term rather like a thesaurus, a phrase (e.g. "keep out of reach of children" under "Kinder") or even whole sentences for some customers. The beauty of TermStar is that all the dictionary terms within the current segment are displayed simultaneously in a separate window and can be added by pressing either Alt+T or Alt+K+term letter if there are several entries and I don't have to type the words. This is particularly useful when translating German as the English sentence often has to be completely swapped round and part of the verb is usually dangling at the end of the sentence.

A comprehensive termbase is absolutely indispensible for me - particularly if the client has preferred terminology. It saves me a lot of time as I don't need to search for words on the net/external dictionaries/concordance - many terms are all there at a glance, no waiting. Nevertheless, an efficient termbase requires work to set it up and add terms (on the fly from Transit - 4 clicks from start to finish, or importing glossaries found on the net). TermStar is the main reason why I use Transit instead of Trados --> Multiterm is inefficient.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:18
English to Polish
I see Mar 20, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hi Anni!

To answer your question, Multiterm is the termbase software which accompanies the CAT tool SDL Trados. You can create your own dictionaries on different topics and use them when you are translating. The words which are recognised by the software can be inserted into the translation with a single click.
(...)
Astrid



Thank you for explanation, Astrid.

Well, you have named many advantages of using it. I didn't know what was Multiterm, however a general concept of what you explaned is not a new thing for me. Just I use different CAT tool, and I use its way to keep terminology to re-use it in future translations. In my CAT tool it's simply called "databases".

Bottom line - there are many CATs with different ways/names for maintaining past translations I don't use and don't have Multiterm, but I do use something that serves similar/the same purpose


Anni


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm so glad to see Mar 20, 2008

That I fall into the highest 2 categories (What is it?/Never use it). I thought I was missing out on something but it turns out not so ... cue deep sigh or relief !

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Cecilia Falk  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:18
English to Swedish
"Don't use it" Mar 20, 2008

But I spend at least 30% of my working time researching terminology and compiling project specific glossaries. This is an essential part of my work.
The reason I do not use MultiTerm is that I find it far to clumsy and restricted. It is important to have access to all researched terms for all projects at the click of a button.
I compile glossaries (also with phrases, as someone mentioned) with a custom macro that I use as soon as I have researched a term. When the project is finished I polish the glossary and insert it among all the other glossaries for future reference.

Best regards,
Cecilia


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