How to make the best of the Déjà Vu Terminology Database.

Add terms, lots and lots of terms. Add any term that you might see again.  When you first start a new project, examine every sentence to find terms and expressions that can be put into the TDB. Add at least three or more terms from every new sentence, for the first third or quarter of the document.

My rule of thumb is that if I think that I will *ever* see the term again, it goes in the database. This is very fast: Highlight the target term, TAB, highlight the source term, Ctrl-F11, Enter. It’s better to enter all terms as lower case, at least in English and Spanish, but I don’t know much about Polish or German. This will slow you down, at first, but real gains will come later.

Also include compound terms.  Remember, the more letters and/or words that it contains, the more time you will save in the future, because you will never have to type it again.  Include adjectives and articles when you define target and source terms. This is especially important when gender and number must match in one of the languages and not in the other. That means entering “machine”, “the machine”, “a machine”, “both machines”, “red machine”, “this machine”, “these machines”, etc., all as separate terms. It may seem like double work, at the beginning. But it really pays off for longer terms and phrases, such as “electrical control panel”, especially where the word order is reversed between English and Spanish.

For example, don’t just add:



But also:

acabado uniforme

uniform finish

el acabado uniforme

the uniform finish

el acabado

the finish

un acabado uniforme

a uniform finish



agua dulce

fresh water

agua de mar


activos fijos

fixed assets

acero inoxidable

stainless steel

activos y pasivos

assets and liabilities

aire de planta y de instrumentos

plant and instrument air

análisis de sensibilidad

sensitivity analysis

ablandamiento del agua

water softening

asiento de bola integral

integral ball seat

camiones cisterna

tank trucks

coeficiente de expansión térmica

coefficient of thermal expansion

Some expressions can be the source of multiple TDB entries:

sistema de recuperación de datos

data recovery system

recuperación de datos

data recovery

sistema de recuperación

recovery system

Many people think of terminology only as nouns (subjects, objects).  But DV can handle so much more. I have been rewarded by adding many other phrases, such as prepositional phrases, adjective and adverbial phrases, expressions, idioms, etc.

a la derecha

at right

al día siguiente

the next day

A continuación se presenta

Below is

bajo las mismas condiciones

under the same conditions

bajo condiciones garantizadas de caudal y presión de descarga

under guaranteed discharge flow and pressure conditions

de la siguiente forma

in the following manner

del capítulo anterior

from the preceding chapter

en estas situaciones

in these situations

As of April 15, 2007, terms with a single word make up less than 30% of the total number of terms in my Spanish-English terminology database. Terms with 2 or 3 words were over half of the total. This effect is even more pronounced in my English-Spanish terminology database.

Spanish-English English-Spanish
Words% of total
1 29.3%
Words % of total

Last revised: September 5, 2007
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