2. Terminology Management Tools in the Translation Process
Terminology management tools act as specialist machine-readable dictionaries equipped with a number of additional functionalities. The termbases may be populated manually by the translators, either at the beginning of a project, or while actually performing the translation. They can also be fed with the existing terminology collections by way of import. The difference between a regular machine-readable dictionary and a TMS is that terminology management tools allow not only for the creation of custom dictionaries, with a user-definable entry structure, but also that these tools offer a number of automated functions, e.g. automatic term recognition and insertion, quality checks, etc. The typical workflow for translators using workbench tools consists of a number of phases, each involving both TM and TMS modules. The first phase - preparation consists in preparing all the modules for a given translation project. It may require importing external translation memories and terminology collections into respective modules, and, depending on the tool, also importing the SL files into the project7. Depending on the resources provided by the client, it is also possible to create translation memories and automatic terminology extraction by way of alignment. Once the data is imported to the modules, translation memory and termbase should be associated with the project. Pretranslation is the next step. This function divides the source file into segments and searches through the termbase and translation memory, looking for the matching terms and segments. Once the analysis is done and the target segments have been filled with what was found in the databases, the actual translation may begin. During translation the terminology database can be searched and the terminological records can be consulted in order to make the best possible choice. New terms can be added throughout the whole process, either by way of automatic sending the term pairs to the termbase or by manual data entry. Also translation memory is updated during translation. Finally, all kinds of quality checks are performed, including spell checking, numbers and terminology checks i.e. whether all instances of a given SL term have been translated in the same way into TL and all numbers have been converted into the appropriate format. Next, the text can be exported for proofreading, following which, both termbase and translation memory should be updated. The final export is the last step of the CAT-supported translation process. The above diagram prepared by the author illustrates this process. A more specific description of the functionalities outlined in this process description will be provided in the next section. (See Diagram 1. Usual workflow model in translation using TM and TMS modules).
7Some applications require importing the SL file into the application. The translation process is then carried out in the native format of the tool. Other applications act as macros associated with word processors and do not require import, but operate directly on the original file.