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creating an effective glossary- help needed
Thread poster: Luke Mersh

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
Oct 18, 2014

Hi there.
I am a graduating DPSI Interpreter EnglishSpanish

I have tried many ways of creating a good and effective glossary but have not come to any final decision yet, and would like some help with structure and organization.

Do I create it by Disease/ Illness??
and then have symptoms & signs-> diagnosis-> treatments-> after care.


how would you structure yours ?


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
creating an effective glossary Oct 18, 2014

I would like some opinions on how you people organize and structure your glossaries.

where do you start?
what is your structure or layout?


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jlrsnyder  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:26
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
source language and subject area Oct 18, 2014

I organize my glossaries so that for the document I'm translating, I need to open just one glossary.
For example, if I'm translating medical reports from Spain, I open my Spanish-English Medical glossary.
If I'm translating lawyer's letters or court briefs from France, I open my French-English Legal glossary. If I'm translating a document about tropical plant breeding, I open my Spanish-English Agriculture glossary. As I translate the document, I make notes about new vocabulary I have to look up and then when my schedule has a little slack time in it, I update my glossaries with the new words.
My structure is pretty simple -- a two-column Excel file with the source word in the left hand column and the target word in the right. After making additions, I sort the glossary again by the left column.

I think that creating a glossary for every disease would not be very efficient. For one thing, when a patient walks into the emergency room, it is not necessarily known what disease he has and most patients turn out to have more than one disease or condition. Furthermore, many procedures (inserting an IV line, prepping for surgery, performing a physicial examination, etc.) are performed for multiple conditions, so it wouldn't make sense to categorize that general vocabulary under just one disease heading.


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
medical glossaries Oct 18, 2014

thank you for your reply.

I understand your point.

What I do not want is just a long list of words in alphabetical order, I am looking for a better layout or structure, I will be specializing in healthcare, in English and Spanish.

Although I will not know what illness the patient may have, the patient will however be explaining symptoms.

As I stated this will be for use in my DPSI exam.

I just find that having a long list of words without any structure or organization can be a little daunting to look at and read through.

But again you insight is valuable to me


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
glossaries Oct 18, 2014

jlrsnyder wrote:

I organize my glossaries so that for the document I'm translating, I need to open just one glossary.
For example, if I'm translating medical reports from Spain, I open my Spanish-English Medical glossary.
If I'm translating lawyer's letters or court briefs from France, I open my French-English Legal glossary. If I'm translating a document about tropical plant breeding, I open my Spanish-English Agriculture glossary. As I translate the document, I make notes about new vocabulary I have to look up and then when my schedule has a little slack time in it, I update my glossaries with the new words.
My structure is pretty simple -- a two-column Excel file with the source word in the left hand column and the target word in the right. After making additions, I sort the glossary again by the left column.

I think that creating a glossary for every disease would not be very efficient. For one thing, when a patient walks into the emergency room, it is not necessarily known what disease he has and most patients turn out to have more than one disease or condition. Furthermore, many procedures (inserting an IV line, prepping for surgery, performing a physicial examination, etc.) are performed for multiple conditions, so it wouldn't make sense to categorize that general vocabulary under just one disease heading.


Thank you again.

I guess I should really say where to start?

I am starting with a blank canvas, in prep for my exams.
As you say not knowing what the subject matter is going to be I have to prepare myself,
But I am needing some organizing, I am having to create a good and well organized glossary from scratch.
So I am having to read about lots of different diseases and illnesses.

so that by the end I have a very well organized glossary to go into the exams with.
This is my dilemma.


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jlrsnyder  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:26
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
alternate organizations Oct 19, 2014

Since physical examinations are usually conducted starting from the head and moving downwards, you could organize your vocabulary in a similar way, by body part or by organ system. In the circulatory system, for example, you could include not only arteries and veins, but also the procedures that are conducted on the circulatory system, such as catheterization, bypass, blood draw, ECG, etc.

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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
glossaries Oct 19, 2014

jlrsnyder wrote:

Since physical examinations are usually conducted starting from the head and moving downwards, you could organize your vocabulary in a similar way, by body part or by organ system. In the circulatory system, for example, you could include not only arteries and veins, but also the procedures that are conducted on the circulatory system, such as catheterization, bypass, blood draw, ECG, etc.


Ok that sounds like an idea, but what about symptoms and illness.
Like you said one does not know what illnesses a patient may have, but would we not first start with symptoms.

For instance the head comprises of eyes,ears,nose, brain, etc and that would encompass a lot of illnesses and symptoms.
that would be too much.
Maybe by Organ would be better, I did think of that.

Say for example:
The brain
I could create a list of brain related symptoms and illnesses.

or for example going from your example of the Circ system:
like you say parts of that system and procedures, but what about too related illness, symtoms and then procedures. ?


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 03:26
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Relational database Oct 19, 2014

luke mersh wrote:
how would you structure yours ?

If you want to impress your professors (and your fellow-students), go for a relational database, with

illnesses
diagnosis
treatments
after care
other

as columns for each languages, and filter them to your needs. That'll teach them!

Cheers,

Hans


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
glossaries Oct 19, 2014

Meta Arkadia wrote:

luke mersh wrote:
how would you structure yours ?

If you want to impress your professors (and your fellow-students), go for a relational database, with

illnesses
diagnosis
treatments
after care
other

as columns for each languages, and filter them to your needs. That'll teach them!

Cheers,

Hans



They were my thoughts.
how do you organize your glossaries.
many thanks


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
glossary Oct 19, 2014

Meta Arkadia wrote:

luke mersh wrote:
how would you structure yours ?

If you want to impress your professors (and your fellow-students), go for a relational database, with

illnesses
diagnosis
treatments
after care
other

as columns for each languages, and filter them to your needs. That'll teach them!

Cheers,

Hans


how do I create a relational DB in excel 2003??


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Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 17:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
One step at a time Oct 19, 2014

luke mersch wrote:
I am having to create a good and well organized glossary from scratch.


That's a commendable objective, but one which very rarely works out in practice. There's a lot of 'trial and error' in the design of any glossary and, although I never translate in the medical field, I would imagine that it's no easier to 'get it right first time' than it is in fields such as telecoms, IT, law, etc. Whatever you do, and regardless of how you start, you will eventually find yourself going back to the drawing-board (but, hopefully, with some useful experience learnt in the meantime).

jlrsnyder wrote:
My structure is pretty simple -- a two-column Excel file with the source word in the left hand column and the target word in the right. After making additions, I sort the glossary again by the left column.

to which
luke mersch responded:
What I do not want is just a long list of words in alphabetical order


Why not? - After all, that's what you get in any bilingual paper dictionary, isn't it? Plus, if it's in Excel you can sort, search and filter the terms at will, in either language. And you don't have to limit it to two columns - you can add other columns containing definitions, medical fields, alternative terms (specific to language variants, for example), sources, tags for preferred/deprecated/obsolete terms, etc. etc. And all those columns can also be sorted, searched and filtered (so you could extract a sub-glossary for sub-tropical diseases, for example).

When you're feeling 'cramped' in Excel and want to graduate to this:

Meta Arkadia wrote:
If you want to impress your professors (and your fellow-students), go for a relational database...


you'll already have acquired a much better 'feel' of how you want to organise your data, and this will be invaluable in helping you structure a relational database (which you might build with MS Access, for example), and you'll have accumulated a mass of useful data in Excel that you can transfer easily into the database. One of the (many) advantages of using a relational database (apart from impressing your profs and fellow-students) is that it is much easier to maintain lists of things like medical fields.

Of course, by that time you may have decided these things are too technical for you (and it's true, the design of a decent relational database is not exactly 'kids play') so you'll perhaps want to invest in a ready-made solution, on-line or off-line, paid or free. But until you've gained some 'hands-on' experience with simple things you can do yourself, you'll find it difficult to decide what features you need to look for in a professional product.

Going back to the top, don't expect to get it right first time - but do 'get your hands dirty' and play around with different structures and supports and see what works for you.


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Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 17:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
You don't Oct 19, 2014

luke mersh wrote:

how do I create a relational DB in excel 2003??


That's not what Excel is intended to be used for. I won't say it's impossible, but ...


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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
glossaries Oct 19, 2014

As I said .
I find it boring and daunting looking through an A to Z of terminology.

My aim is to make it easy for me to use.

so if I have an A to Z of Illnesses , I would like to say I need to know what its symptoms and treatments are for that particular illness and select it so that it brings up related info about it.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
tab-delimited UTF-8 text files Oct 19, 2014

I recommend having a look at Ron's Editor, imo the best CSV editor for Windows. I store all the glossaries I use in my CAT tool in tab-delimited UTF-8 .csv files. The cool thing about RE is you can do all the stuff like sorting on columns that you can do in Excel, but you don't have to worry about messing up the encoding of your files. Also, Excel is overkill and not really designed for glossaries. RE is also good at opening huuuuuge files, and has a few other little tricks, such as quickly filtering on a subset of your data, etc.

My glossaries currently have 10 fields:

some_text

…and here is what the same glossary looks like in EmEditor (a good text editor for Windows):

some_text

I can edit my glossaries in either of these programs, or directly from inside CafeTran (my CAT tool), in the Quick Term Editorr or New Term dialogue, and the second I save it, it's updated and ready to be used in the translation editor. I've tested glossaries of up to around 2 million entries (lines), and they work instantly in CafeTran.

Relational databases are cool, but you would need to learn SQL or sth like that, while sticking to good old tab-dels will allow you focus on mastering a text editor (much more useful imo) and maybe some regular expressions. Throw in a bit of (g)awk or Perl, maybe, and the world is your oyster!

Michael

Ron's Editor: http://www.ronsplace.eu/Products/RonsEditor

[Edited at 2014-10-19 19:48 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
IATE Oct 19, 2014

You could also downland the IATE database, and have a look at how they organised the data (keep in mind though that the downloadable version is a stripped down version of the online data; most of the metadata is gone):

Download the data: http://iate.europa.eu/tbxPageDownload.do
IATE Data fields explained: http://iate.europa.eu/tbx/IATE%20Data%20Fields%20Explaind.htm

some_text

The database comes in the so-called TBX format, which is supposed to be the industry standard for TBs, but is a bit too academic and unsupported for my liking. Plus I hate XML. I prefer tab-delimiting to tag-delimiting.

If you do decide you want to use it in a CAT tool at some point, make sure to also check out Henk Sanderson's amazing extractions @ http://santrans.net/

For a very small fee, he will create a custom termbase for you that's ready to be imported into pretty much any CAT tool in the market today.

Michael



[Edited at 2014-10-19 20:18 GMT]


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