SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Solutions & Tips for 3 Common Terminology Challenges

[fa icon="calendar"] July 5, 2016 / by Celia Roman

Common terminology challenges.pngImage: Home Water Softener Reviews

Correct terminology is key to ensuring success in any translation project. However this is a daily challenge for our translators and for us Project Managers. This is because despite our translators’ best efforts in using the correct terminology, the reviewers on the client’s side might differ.

Here are three challenges we encounter daily and how we solve them:

Challenge 1: Different client-side reviewers

While it is understandable that employees move, unfortunately this has an impact on terminology preferences.
The problem arises when a new reviewer inserts new terms or even inconsistencies while reviewing translated content. The reviewed translations get sent back to our linguists for correction implementation and Translation Memory (TM) updating

We always strive to use the same teams of translators on the same account over a long period. The benefit of this is that teams will become familiar with client specific style, tone and brand. As our translators will go through the review and implementation of feedback, they will have access to previously approved content, as well as a list of “do not translate" terms, and approved glossaries/style guides.

If a term has been changed in the reviewed text, which was previously marked as “approved”, then the translator will query this new entry with the project manager.
This triggers an investigation on our side. We need to find out why previously approved terms are no longer approved.


We find that the most helpful thing at this point is to have an open discussion between the lead linguist and the client’s reviewer. The project manager will arrange a call between them at a suitable time and date. During the call, typically they come up with a mutual understanding where new approved terms are in line with previously approved terms, or not, as per client’s sales strategy and other factors involved.


From a client’s perspective, a good step would be to let their language service provider (LSP) know when a new reviewer has joined the team. A call can be arranged before the reviewer reviews the translations, a glossary can be sent to the new reviewer for them to study and offer changes if necessary before the project starts.

Challenge 2: Different divisions or departments have different terminology preferences

As a project manager, I often see a scenario whereby the client might use different terms depending on what division or department we are translating for. At times we also see that even within the same division, their marketing, product specifications, legal documentation or product lines require different terminology.

When different client divisions require different terminology, as project managers we instruct our engineering team to create different TMs for each division and language and only leverage from that set of TMs for that division.

This way we can ensure that only the approved terminology for that division is used and avoid “polluting” the TM with terminology that is not accurate (although used elsewhere in the organization).

If it's only a matter of a few division-specific terms, we then instruct the linguistic team to create specific glossaries (marketing, legal, etc.) that will be imported into the TMS and they will supersede any other glossaries. This ensures that the specific terminology is available for the translator to use.



From a client’s perspective, it would be helpful to send their LSP lists of terms that are used for either particular projects or teams, so the project manager decides on how best to manage the terminology, for instance, translate and review these terms in advance of the project starting.

Challenge 3: No client-side reviewer

While our translations adhere to the ISO:17100 process, meaning the 4-eye principle has been applied, often we find clients like to have somebody in their own organization review the translation.
However, this is not always possible if there is no local office or native staff for a particular region available.


SimulTrans can offer third party review services. We engage native subject matter experts (SME) with industry knowledge, and linguistic and domain expertise in the target language.



From a client’s perspective, it would save time if their LSP is informed at the beginning of the project that a third party reviewer will be needed. This means that we can arrange the selection and training of the SME before the review of the translated material starts, to ensure complete understanding of the content and context.

As you can see, ensuring the correct terminology is used is critical for a successful localization project in terms of quality, turnaround, and cost. Also a good TMS is essential.


If you are interested in a demo to see how a TMS like Smartling can help you resolve some terminology issues, then click below.

Schedule a  Smartling Demo

Topics: Translation Services

Celia Roman

Written by Celia Roman

Celia serves on the Project Management team at SimulTrans for the past 5 years. She graduated from Swansea University (Wales) in Translation and Interpreting studies, combined with a Masters degree in Marketing Management and International relations. Celia believes a successful project is all about team work and putting the right team members in place. Assigning the most suitable resources for each client, project type and industry. As a Project Manager, Celia is the main point of contact for every resource and acts as the bridge between the client and each localization resource: translators, editors, engineers, video & audio recording resources and desktop publishers. Celia has spent over 10 years in the translation and localization industry.