5 compelling reasons why you should manage your terminology

Communicating in a clear and consistent manner, and saving money at the same time. Sounds great? Let’s tackle it!

This one is about terminology work. And the importance of implementing it in your company, your processes, your daily work. The Who and How and Where depend on every company’s specific conditions and requirements. So better everyone figures that out for themselves. I’d like to lose a few words about Why terminology work matters:

Knowing what’s meant

Terminology work has a very clear purpose: being consistent in your language and writing. Whether it is about developing a product, publishing press releases, or communicating within the company: talking about business issues in the same words, and using the same writing makes everyone’s life easier and, primarily, more efficient. And productive. And satisfying. Everybody understands what is meant by using the same term, with a meaningful definition. It’s as simple as that.

Spread the word

Once there is a consensus about the right terms to be used within a department, for a project, throughout the company, or whatever else: spread the word. Make an Excel sheet (did I really write that down?!), manage a list on your intranet, use one of these super professional terminology management tools (my absolute favorite!), or post messages on a notice board, but - please - communicate it. To everyone involved. Could be involved. Should be involved. Would like to be involved. Sounds like the whole company, right?

So, go tell it on the mountain 😉.

Sharing is caring

This being said, I get to the point of knowledge sharing. You’ve your terminology recorded. It’s somewhere. Not just in your heads.

A new colleague joins the team. Works on your project. Comes along with their own magic phrasing. And you can just raise your hand, open a sheet (or a website), and put them in their place. Or, what if this colleague doesn’t know what’s this or that? Simply refer to your terminology. And things will become clearer.

Customers in love

Now that you have your terminology on board, everybody knows about it (even your new colleagues 😉) and uses it consistently, you’ve already made a big step forward. This way you can produce high-quality content. Great texts that are easy to read and understand. Texts that your customers will love, because they’re consistent, thus user-friendly. And it brands your company - positively. It shows that you value language and consistent communication, demonstrates professionalism to your customers, and saves everyone a lot of time and money.

Match rate boost

This goes to the ones who are into translation. And those who express their despair about high translation costs.

I tell you what: you’ll spend less if you care more about consistent source texts. Well-maintained terminology in source texts reduces translation time, and assists translators in producing good quality texts, and consistent translations. Translators spend less time researching or querying terminology.

The consequential consistent target terminology can then be reused for follow-up translations, resulting in a higher match rate, thus saving money. This gives the whole story the finishing touch, doesn’t it?

About the author

Birgit Bader is an experienced Technical Communicator. Her heart beats for UI writing, localization, and API documentation.