Assuring quality: terminology check

Terms form the conceptual skeleton of a technical publication. Their correct use is vital for the understanding of a technical text. Likewise, correct and consistent use of the right target-language terminology is one of the corner stones of a good technical translation.

But even if terminological dictionaries were used during a translation project, terminological errors or inconsistencies might still occur. Two examples: you as a translator changed your opinion about some target-language equivalences for certain terms later on during the translation. Now you want to make sure the right terms have been used consistently throughout the whole project. Or you are proof-reading a project that had to be split up between several translators. Of course, you as the proof-reader are supposed to unify the terminology.  There are many reasons why you want to automatically check the terminology of a translation before delivery and this is where Transit helps. This tool tip will show you how to do it. First of all, we must go to the Review menu.

Review menu

For the terminology check to work, you need to have at least one dictionary defined for your project. You can also use various dictionaries simultaneously.  In any case, it is advisable to only use  dictionaries with “real” terminological entries. A dictionary that also contains general language words will most probably produce unwanted “noise” during the terminology check.  Furthermore, it is recommended that the entries follow the terminographical conventions of the languages involved, i.e. that they have been introduced into the dictionary in their canonical form. Some clients use only one single dictionary with a reduced number of approved terms for their terminology checks.

In the Terminology section of the Review menu, click on Start. You can start from the cursor position or the beginning of the file. Either option starts the interactive mode of the terminology check. Once Transit finds a term in the source language but does not find the dictionary’s equivalence of the term in the target language, it stops.


In the Terminology check dialogue, you can do one of the following:

  • You “Allow” the term used in the target language, although it does not match the translation in the dictionary. Transit carries on with the check, but will not stop again at this term.
  • You “Ignore” the term used in the target language. Transit carries on with the check, and it will stop again at this term.
  • You “Cancel” the check to carry out necessary modifications in the target language.

Instead of doing the terminology check interactively, you can also carry it out automatically. To do so, select Update error display in the context menu of the Start command in the Terminology section. The errors found are then listed in the File Navigation panel to the left of your language pair. There, you can hop from one error to the next. Transit navigates to the corresponding segments for you and you can decide whether you want to ignore the error or do something about it.


Let’s leave it here for now. Thank you for dropping by and please do leave your comments or send your questions. In next posts we will talk about the numerous options for format checks in Transit NXT, so make sure you check in again.

Many thanks to Karen Ellis for reviewing this post.

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 intermediate level, QA, terminology, terminology check, Transit NXT and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Assuring quality: terminology check

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Great post – our translation team finds this function really handy. It saves a lot of time when we have to check a big project against a client dictionary!

    • It cannot insist enough that is really important to have a high quality dictionary with a reduced set of terms for the terminology check. In fact, it is always important to have high quality terminological dictionaries but I am aware that translators sometimes use the dictionaries in unorthodox ways, as a kind of Autotext feature, for example. That’s OK, but if you want to use such a dictionary for termcheck than you might run into trouble.

      • Karen Ellis says:

        I couldn’t agree more. But I think that’s because many people use the dictionaries for “words” rather than “terminology”. That is, for German, things like “mit”, “ohne”, “und”, “der”, “an”, “auf”, etc. And given the ‘fluidity’ of language, it’s very common that you cannot actually translate those words using the first entry in your standard dictionary, particularly when those words form part of a separable verb…

  2. Pingback: (CAT) – Assuring quality: terminology check | | Glossarissimo!

  3. John Hayes says:

    There is a simple solution to the “word”/”terminology” problem. My translation team shares a dictionary we call “Smallword” we use it to store entries that are most likely going to be translated the same way in any context. It includes simple words such as articles, some prepositions, phrases such as “mehr als” (more than) and words as complex as names of organizations (which never change), country names, numbers and so on. We open this dictionary for every job for speed and efficiency. We also open a customer-relevant dictionary for terminology specific to a customer. Prior to running the final Terminology check, we simply remove Smallword from the project, leaving our technical dictionary to ensure that we’ve translated the tech terms correctly and consistently. And “small” words are never added to the customer-specific dictionaries.

    • Karen Ellis says:

      That’s definitely a good solution to the problem. It’s a matter of making sure that those two pools are kept separate and, as you say, that the ‘smallwords’ are not included when you run the terminology check. Now to spread the word to all dictionary compilers out there…

  4. Wen, Xin says:

    Could not find “Update error display” in Start context menu. Is it new feature shipped with latest SP?

  5. Did you check in the Start context menu under Terminology? The Start context menu under Spellcheck does not have this option.

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

  7. Katarzyna Bieniaszewska says:

    Is it possible to export such report?

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