Last time, I wrote about how a project glossary was key to consistency. While I’m on the subject, I’ll also share one recent glossary-related experience. I’m originally an IT translator, and this is one of my two favorite specializations (the other is financial markets). The fact that we diversified a lot in terms of subject matter areas over the last years and IT now accounts for a smaller fraction of our workload makes me even more excited when I get to translate or edit something computer-related. This excitement translates into a desire to do a better job. Here’s one thing that I discovered recently that helps me do just that.
Microsoft Glossary Rocks
I guess everyone professionally involved in IT translations knows about the plethora of translation resources that Microsoft put together. Since MS is the number one authority on computers that also invests a lot in localizing their products, these translations are among the best and most authoritative in this field. A translator who relies upon them reaps at least two benefits. The first one is obviously quick access to excellent translations. The second one is being able to explain his/her choices to a reviewer who might have doubts about terminology. For example, a reviewer once told me he didn’t like the Russian translation of “firewall” (брандмауэр). With the MS glossary publicly available, explaining the choice couldn’t be easier.
Now, what’s the most efficient way of accessing MS translations? Until recently, I thought it was by searching the MS Language Portal. But then I realized I can actually download the entire glossary with all languages. Wow, instead of searching the portal each time, which is time-consuming, I can have it on my desktop. The only challenge was to find an efficient way to search it.
OmegaT Gives a Helping Hand, Again
This is where OmegaT came in handy. The MS glossary is a TBX file containing many languages. OmegaT supports TBX and displays only the terms that match the current project’s language combination, e.g. English to Russian in my case. This means OmegaT processes the MS glossary just as any other glossary, providing immediate, real-time access to glossary terms. As soon as I opened the glossary in OmegaT, I realized it contained really a lot of terms, much more than you would think and definitely much more than you would have patience to search using the portal. Having the glossary right in my OmegaT allows me to avoid searching each term on the portal and gives me much more term suggestions that I would ever think of looking up myself on the portal. After using this powerful combination in a few large projects, I saw a measurable performance increase.
The flipside? Hello? You get to use a glossary that a leading company invested millions of dollars in—for free and in an extremely efficient fashion! What more do you want? On a more serious note, the “flipside” is that because the MS glossary is so comprehensive, it’s very easy to get lazy and forget about filling up your own project glossary, which you’ll need later for checking the translation for consistency in the QA program.
The MS glossary is probably the best glossary out there for translating almost anything IT-related (and what isn’t these days?). Marrying it with OmegaT gives you an exciting ability to increase quality and consistency. And it’s just one easy-to-use TBX file whether you translate into the German, French, Spanish, or Russian language, just to name a few.
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