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Assuring quality: terminology check

Assuring quality: terminology check

Terms form the conceptual skeleton of a technical publication. Their correct use is vital for the understanding of a technical text. Likewise, correct and consistent use of the right target-language terminology is one of the corner stones of a good technical translation. But even if terminological dictionaries were used during a translation project, terminological errors or inconsistencies might still occur. Two examples: you as a translator changed your opinion about some target-language equivalences for certain terms later on during the translation. Now you want to make sure the right terms have been used consistently throughout the whole project. Or you are proof-reading a project that had to be split up between several translators. Of course, you as the proof-reader are supposed to unify the terminology.  There are many reasons why you want to automatically check the terminology of a translation before delivery and this is where Transit helps. This tool tip will show you how to do it.

First of all, we must go to the Review menu.

Review menu

For the terminology check to work, you need to have at least one dictionary defined for your project. You can also use various dictionaries simultaneously.  In any case, it is advisable to only use  dictionaries with "real" terminological entries. A dictionary that also contains general language words will most probably produce unwanted "noise" during the terminology check.  Furthermore, it is recommended that the entries follow the terminographical conventions of the languages involved, i.e. that they have been introduced into the dictionary in their canonical form. Some clients use only one single dictionary with a reduced number of approved terms for their terminology checks. In the Terminology section of the Review menu, click on Start. You can start from the cursor position or the beginning of the file. Either option starts the interactive mode of the terminology check. Once Transit finds a term in the source language but does not find the dictionary's equivalence of the term in the target language, it stops.


In the Terminology check dialogue, you can do one of the following:

  • You "Allow" the term used in the target language, although it does not match the translation in the dictionary. Transit carries on with the check, but will not stop again at this term.
  • You "Ignore" the term used in the target language. Transit carries on with the check, and it will stop again at this term.
  • You "Cancel" the check to carry out necessary modifications in the target language.

Instead of doing the terminology check interactively, you can also carry it out automatically. To do so, select Update error display in the context menu of the Start command in the Terminology section. The errors found are then listed in the File Navigation panel to the left of your language pair. There, you can hop from one error to the next. Transit navigates to the corresponding segments for you and you can decide whether you want to ignore the error or do something about it.


Let's leave it here for now. Thank you for dropping by and please do leave your comments or send your questions. In next posts we will talk about the numerous options for format checks in Transit NXT, so make sure you check in again. Many thanks to Karen Ellis for reviewing this post.


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