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Article from ClientSide News
November 2006
Technology spotlight

A New Mid-level Solution for Terminology Management

Businesses often fail to see terminology management as a way to cut costs. But, more than ever, the creation and maintenance of a terminology database is essential for international business.

A coherent terminology management strategy will benefit a company through greater consistency and quality. Good terminology management can help a company avoid costly errors that arise from misunderstandings and inconsistent translations of company specific terms - something that is not always appreciated by upper management.

Those individuals already working with terminology management generally understand the benefits and the long-term return on investment. A terminology tool that can export data easily in standard formats is a great asset for use alongside content management systems and other translation and localisation tools. Plus, it's a simple way to provide a translator or technical writer with a glossary.

If there is no terminology strategy in place at all, the typical approach is to leave the creation of terminology lists until the end of a project, when more time is available. However, terminology management is best incorporated into the initial design phases of product production. Projects should grow with the right word sets from the outset. This minimizes costly re-editing of documentation.


Likely few translators or localisers are left that don't rely on the computer to manage the terminology they need for their day-to-day work. They might use a simple Excel spreadsheet or a comprehensive "termbase" incorporated into a translation memory system.

A number of terminology management tools are currently available. Many of these solutions are complex and cumbersome to use for the less than fully trained.

Lingo 4.0 Terminology Management System, developed by, in France, is a midway solution between the large complex terminology systems and the very basic solutions, such as Excel-generated terminology lists. Lingo 4.0 is easy to use, and it combines functionality with management capability. Designed to run on Windows 2000, XP, 2003 Server, and the forthcoming Vista, Lingo 4.0 helps you create monolingual or multilingual terminology databases in a simple and intuitive way.

Lingo 4.0 is ideal for the freelance translator, for small translation or localization teams, or for any business needing to create and maintain a terminology database. The single-user licence version costs less than €100. Multi-user licences are available also.

Simple terminology management methods, such as using word processor or spreadsheet applications for collating and exchanging terminological data, are very limited. They work only for simple, low-quantity data. They are inconvenient once documents grow beyond a few pages in size, and their search capabilities are limited.

On the other hand, large terminology management systems are difficult to configure and use. They usually must be set up and maintained by trained, dedicated staff.

The advantage of a midway solution such as Lingo 4.0 is that it retains the flexibility and ease of use of the simple solutions, allowing for rapid data entry and retrieval, yet it incorporates many of the powerful features of larger terminology management systems, such as large file handling, network file sharing, full Unicode support, and dedicated import and export functions. Furthermore, the learning curve is minimal.

Lingo 4.0 is a standalone program, but it can be used alongside any other Windows application. The main interface is a small toolbar that gives direct access to all the essential functions of terminology management. For example, adding, searching, and modifying terms.

In the application, you work with Lingo dictionaries that can be monolingual or multilingual. They can contain any languages you specify. You can create any number of category fields, which is useful for marking subsets of data with client- or domain-specific attributes. These attributes can be used for filtering when using the program's search function.

Lingo 4.0 allows any terminology entered to be easily re-used in other systems. It is fully Unicode compatible, supporting all character sets. It has import and export functions that support both a plain-text-and-tabs format and the industry-standard format, TMX (XML).

The program has a powerful search function, enabling users to search through several dictionaries simultaneously. If Lingo dictionaries need to be shared, whether over a local area network or otherwise, the dictionary's creator can set various permissions: read-only, data exportable, user password, etc. Translators will find Lingo 4.0 particularly useful because of the ease at which they can add new terminology to existing dictionaries: simply drag new words or phrases from word processing applications into Lingo's "Add data" window. This capability makes Lingo 4.0 a great tool to use if you need to quickly build a terminology database prior to commencing a large translation or localisation project.

For businesses working in global environments, Lingo 4.0 offers a simple way to set up and maintain a terminology database, one that can be consulted easily, without extensive staff training. In fact, if key staff members add a few company-specific terms every month into a simple Lingo 4.0 terminology database, it can grow into an extremely valuable authoring resource within a year.

Flexibility and a wide range of accessible and user- friendly features make Lingo 4.0 a great asset in a variety of business environments.

Published by Clientside News, November 2006. Copyright © 2006.


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