Adding terms to the dictionary

Some preliminary considerations

Terminology is one of the fundamental elements of specialized discourse, and therefore handling terminology correctly is one of the pillars of a good technical or specialized translation. The source terminology must be correctly identified and the target equivalents thereof must be found and used appropriately. Transit NXT’s design takes that fact into account and, through its interaction with TermStar NXT, offers a very convenient way of handling terminology, both from the dictionary into the text and the other way round. This tooltip deals with the latter, that is, how to populate the dictionary with terminology from the text

This task can be carried out by the translator herself, as she translates every segment, right after finding the target terminology. To put it plainly:

  1. The translator is faced with a new segment, which contains some terms, not handled previously;
  2. She looks up these terms’ target language equivalents in the resources of her preference;
  3. She adds both the source and the target terms to the dictionary;
  4. She translates or completes the translation of that segment, inserting the terminology with one simple shortcut.

Notice that steps 3 and 4 could be performed in inverse order, that is, first she translates the segment, typing the terminology manually, and then she adds both the source and the target terms to the dictionary.

In this tooltip we will see each step at a time. But let me just first of all point out the main advantages of this apparently extra effort:

  1. If the term is added to the dictionary, it will not be necessary to look it up again the next time it appears.
  2. It is much easier and faster to transfer the term into the translation with the shortcut Alt+T (or one of its variants) than to type it manually, and this can only be done if the term is in the dictionary
  3. Term consistency: the risk of introducing a different target term is significantly reduced and, in any case, it can always be corrected afterwards using the term check utility.

All of this contributes to better quality and higher productivity, not to mention the satisfaction of the client, so it goes without saying that it is in the interest of the translator herself to enter terminology as she translates.

Right, let’s get our hands dirty, at last!

First of all, the translator must make sure that her user preferences are correct for the task at hand. So click on the Transit button | User preferences | Terminology search, and select options Highlight in language pair: if target language exists (which tells you when you can use a term from the dictionary) and Display in terminology window: always (which shows you the term pair or a source term that needs to have its equivalent entered). Obviously, these settings could be different if the task was a different one. Also, it is better to choose Morphology-based as the search type setting, so that the term is recognized even if the form in the segment is inflected, derived or declinated.

Terminology optimal settings for the translator

When the translator translates a segment containing terminology that is translated in the dictionary, she can just transfer the target terms with Alt+T, as we said. On the contrary, the translator might face a segment containing terms whose target language equivalents are not in the dictionary (as for example, segment 14 below), although the source term might already be in the dictionary.

The target equivalent of "audífono" is not in the dictionary

In this case, two alternative courses of action are possible. One option would be to translate the term and then add it to the dictionary. Another option would be to add it first to the dictionary and after that use it for the translation. The only difference would be where the target term is typed (either in the segment or in the rapid entry dialog), but the outcome would be the same in any case. Let’s choose the former option.

Launching rapid entry

If you select the terms first (at least the source term, and the target term only if you have typed ir already), then you will not need to enter them in the rapid entry dialog. So, first select the terms, then go to the Terminology menu, then click on the Rapid entry button, and in the dialog that appears check and, if needed, edit the term fields (or enter the target term if you had not translated it yet).

As you can see, the Rapid entry dialog contains the terms you had selected in the segments, but if you didn’t (for example, because you haven’t translated the term yet), you can always fill the fields in at this stage. You will also see the name of the dictionary and, between parenthesis, the name of the database containing it. This is probably the dictionary chosen by your project manager for you, so you should not change it and should not add terminology to other dictionaries other than that one.

Depending on what your project manager asks from you, you might still need to edit the terms a bit, for example, changing capitalization, or removing inflection or declination, etc. in order to have the terms in their dictionary form. In our example, you would need to retype them if you want to change the case (preferably, terms are to be entered in lower case).

To finish, just press the Save button and the pair of terms will be added to the dictionary. The Rapid entry dialog will remain open, in case you want to add more entries to the dictionary, but you’ll have to type the terms manually. If you want to dismiss that dialog, just press the [X] on the corner or press Escape.

Please note

This blog has been moved to a new location, where you will be able to browse it and consult it just like you do now.  Stay tuned!


About Michael Scholand

GILT professional with over 15 years experience in technical translation, business software and games localization. CEO and founder of STAR Servicios Lingüísticos. CAT tools and Translation Management Systems expert.
This entry was posted in dictionaries, intermediate level, terminology, TermStar NXT, Transit NXT and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Adding terms to the dictionary

  1. Thierry Lafaye says:

    Hi all, I’m a freelancer working with TransitNXT (after a few years with XV).

    With the terminology well set and organized, I succeeded in increasing about 20% my productivity at the very least, only thanks to applying terms in the one single key stroke (Alt+T) instead of typing the beginning of each word to start having suggestion like in Trados Studio (looks stupid but half a-second gain multiplied by a few thousand words, it adds up to days gained at the end of the month) and applying capitalization only adding the Shift key (again another huge advantage over Trados Studio for me).

    Way to go, Transit ;-)

  2. Manuel Souto Pico says:

    For faster access to the Rapid Entry dialog, you can use an accelerator (Alt,T,R, in English), or better, create a button in the Quick Access Bar, to launch the dialog with just one click, or a macro, to launch the dialog with just one shortcut.

  3. Pingback: Quick Access Toolbar | Transit/TermStar NXT Tooltips

  4. Pingback: STAR Campus – How can I create and use terminology when translating? | Transit/TermStar NXT Tooltips

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