by Steven Marzuola
careful as we try to be, there are times when we make mistakes.
Therefore, I take every opportunity to find a way to check my work.
One very useful tool is the terminology check feature built
into my translation memory software. From the DV 3.0 help system:
terminology searches the project lexicon and the terminology database
for words and groups of words in source text and makes sure that the
correct translations have been used in target text.
The problem is: as a TDB gets bigger (and more
presents a problem as a quality reference.
- In some cases, the TDB will have multiple
for different subject and clients. Most of the time the Spanish word
“auto” means “automobile”. But
in a legal document, it could be translated as a
“brief”. Both translations are included in my TDB.
The client and subject attributes usually help the program select the
translation that is suited for the current project. But the terminology
check will find the term I didn't use, and mark it as an error.
- When translating into Spanish, adjectives agree with nouns.
So the English adjective “ferrous” could be
translated into Spanish as “ferroso”,
“ferrosa”, “ferrosos”, or
“ferrosas” depending on gender and number. To
handle this, my TDB has the pair “ferrous -
ferroso_”. The underscore character makes me notice that
agreement is needed. Good for quality. But bad for the quality checker,
because any of the correct words will be flagged as incorrect.
- Say that my source document includes a company name:
“ABC Technologies”. Normally a company name is not
translated. But the TDB has the pair, “technologies =
tecnologías”, and if I leave the name in English
this will be noted as an error.
Those are just a few examples of conflicts. A word
correct for the current context will be wrong because the TDB has
another option . As it grows, the TDB becomes more and more useless as
for checking because too many errors will be found.
this would be better incorporated into DVX.
illustration of one possible option:
So I don't use my regular TDB. But I still need to run a
is to add the words that are important
in the current project, to the Lexicon.
Another type of text to be checked is strings of
that are not words. These are things like codes, part numbers, model
numbers, etc. For example, my source documents may include alphanumeric
strings, such as:
My English-to-Spanish “check” TDB includes
- all single letters that are not words.
“A” and “I” are words in
English with Spanish translation, but almost any time my source
document has the word
“B”, the Spanish version should also have it. Same
for “C”, “D”,
- all two-letter pairs that are not words or abbreviations: AA,
AB, AC,... BA, BB, ... up to ZZ. If my source document has the letters
“AB”, so should the translation.
- the numbers “two” to
- Roman numerals
- the months of the
year: “January” to
“December”. Also, their three letter abbreviations:
“Jan”, “Feb”, etc.
- other terms, including abbreviations and acronyms, that
either (a) left untranslated or (b) have a preferred translation
practically 100% of the time.
Together with the numbers
check, this “check” TDB has saved me from
errors on many occasions. I recommend it. If you would like some help
setting up a
check TDB for your language pair, please contact
revised: July 1, 2011