3.8 System's responses
The system's response if the search criteria are not met is another point worth considering. Usually terminology management tools display a hitlist of near matches, or a `term not found' message. Some tools also log the unfound terms in a special file, as well as keep a history of searches. For translators working under time pressure, getting the right term right away is extremely important. Usually, they cannot afford delays caused by using a wrong term found on the hitlist. Therefore, it is vital that the hitlist distinguishes the fuzzy matches from exact matches. In most terminology management tools fuzzy match must be activated manually, so the translator realizes that the hits displayed in the search results may not be appropriate. Another important question is whether the tool is able to recognize a misspelled term. The logical assumption is that if the tool offers a fuzzy match search option, it should be able to return a misspelled term. The problem is, however, that sometimes a simple typing error may alter the initial letter or letters of the term, thus causing the tool to return absolutely irrelevant matches. This means that the type of the spelling mistake is not without significance. One more important issue is the tool's response to compound term searches. As has been already said, the tool usually displays the list of nearest matches. With the advent of hybrid systems, combining CAT with MT, some of the tools offer the so-called `assemble' function, which causes the tool to automatically create its own proposals for rendering the unfound compound term or phrase. Again, the user must be aware of the fact that the output string is not a validated term, but a proposal of the MT module, and as such should be approached with a dose of mistrust and subject to verification. For the users of inflectional languages it may also be crucial to determine whether a tool returns the canonical form of a word if the search string contains an inflected form. The tools discussed within this project only return forms entered in the termbase. This means that in order to receive a base form of a given term we need to activate fuzzy search, right truncation or wildcard search. For the users of English it is in turn important to know whether the tool recognizes spelling variants e.g. colour vs. color; or compound spelling differences e.g. hyphenated vs. non-hyphenated variants.
3.9 Input of information
The input of information into a termbase has a number of aspects. One of the most important ones is whether it is possible to format characters and paragraphs in any way. It is essential in the case of languages where diacritics must be used. Unfortunately, not all fonts offer diacritical characters. Hence, it may sometimes be necessary to change the source text font to another for the target language.
A convenient terminology management tool should also offer a possibility to easily edit both new and existing entries. Some of the simplest editing functions, except for manual keying in the data, is copying, pasting, dragging and dropping, deleting, redoing, undoing, inserting, and changing the layout, search and replace. These functions are offered by most contemporary applications, including terminology management tools.
3.10 Terminology extraction
Terminology extraction can be defined as an automatic collection of terminology from a mono- or bilingual corpus of texts. Such functionality can highly speed up the completion of pre-translation tasks which include terminology work, since the terminology lists created in the process of automatic extraction can be quickly imported into a termbase. Unfortunately, efficient terminology extraction tools usually do not go along terminology management modules or workbench packages. One exception is the `lexicon' function in De'ja` vu, which is a very simple, but efficient terminology extraction tool. The manufacturers of the other tools discussed do provide terminology extraction tools, however they need to be purchased separately.