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Low-cost terminology management

Terminology management is near and dear to us here at Medical Translation Insight.

Unfortunately, when translation service providers are trying to decide which glossary management tools they should buy, they are easily confused or even mislead. Marketing messages like "boost your productivity" or "maximum efficiency" may sound tempting, but usually conceal a blind spot in the tool vendors' claims. A lot of times, going with a simple and inexpensive solution is the best way to get started.

Lost (and found) in localization recently featured an article on how to build a free or low-cost terminology management system. The approach isn't particularly novel but it serves as a good reminder that terminology management doesn't necessarily need to be fancy or complicated or expensive.

The basic idea is to use a web-based spreadsheet to build, manage, and share a terminology glossary (click on the image for a larger version):
Low-cost terminology management using a Google spreadsheet

The actual Google Docs sample termbase is located here.

Spreadsheets are well suited for glossaries: you can easily move columns around, insert new columns or hide existing ones, sort your data alphabetically, export the content into tab-delimited exchange files. And by using a web-based spreadsheet (if you don't like Google Docs, check out Zoho), it becomes easy to collaborate with co-workers, suppliers, or clients.

A spreadsheet will only take you so far, of course. As your needs and your glossaries grow, you can always investigate a more professional (and expensive) terminology management systems like MultiTerm.

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1 Comment:

  1. Unknown said...
    Very interesting. Sorry for my ignorance but, then you have a search function? Is it easy to transfer all my glossaries (accumulated after 20 years)?

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