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  • Writer's pictureHernán J. Droguett

Why is terminology important in translation?

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Terminology can be simply defined as a "list of terms and their respective approved translations." It is important in translation for several reasons:

  1. Consistency: This is crucial in translation, especially when dealing with technical or specialized content. Consistent terminology helps ensure that the translated text is accurate and conveys the intended meaning. Consistency in translation can be summarized with this statement: "Words/terms need to be translated the same way every time they're used."

  2. Clarity: Terminology helps to clarify the meaning of technical or specialized terms, making it easier for readers to understand the text.

  3. Efficiency: Using established terminology reduces the time and effort required for the translator to research and find the right words and phrases (especially when a new translator is brought into a project), which can help speed up the translation process.

  4. Accuracy: Terminology is essential for ensuring the accuracy of translations, particularly when it comes to specialized terminology. Without accurate terminology, translations may convey the wrong meaning, leading to misunderstandings, errors, and even legal or financial consequences.

  5. Reusability: By creating and maintaining a terminology database, translators can reuse previously translated terms and phrases, which can help ensure consistency across multiple translations and save time and effort in the long run.

Overall, terminology is a critical aspect of translation that helps ensure accuracy, clarity, and consistency in the translated text, making it easier for readers to understand and use the information.

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