What if accurate translation was a matter of life or death? In some companies it is. In chemical, mining and manufacturing industries for example, the correct interpretation of health and safety guidelines can mean the difference between an incident or no incident. There, consistent and unambiguous use of terminology across different languages is critical. At Yamagata Europe, we have developed a five-step process to make sure that life-critical terminology is used correctly throughout your company documentation.

Using consistent terminology throughout your company has many benefits. For one thing, it makes it easier for your employees and customers to understand each other and makes sure that everyone interprets your instructions in the same way. This is especially crucial for instructions related to life-critical situations.

Life-critical translations

In life-critical environments, the stakes are high. Companies where employees are working with machinery, chemicals or explosives need to develop stringent health, safety and environment (HSE) guidelines to make sure that zero incidents, zero injuries and zero spills are happening.

In international companies, it’s typically the HSE manager or another subject matter expert who will take up the responsibility to write safety instructions, procedures, protocols and related training material in English. The English version is then usually used as the source for translations.

These translations can be quite a challenge. Especially for HSE content, translators need to be clear, concise and consistent. The same message must be conveyed in every language. Acronyms, abbreviations and department-specific terminology can also be confusing, especially when multiple meanings exist in English.

Terminology management

Collecting, developing, reviewing, harmonizing and updating all different terminology in a company is what we call terminology management. Thanks to these activities, every department, content owner and translator in an organization can use the same vocabulary for all content types and in every language.

At Yamagata Europe, we follow a five-step process to make sure that we capture all correct terminology and can translate efficiently and accurately across any language.

1. We identify the terminology.

What is terminology? And what needs to be translated? The first step in our process is extracting the required terminology from the existing English content. Many organizations already have a list of company- or industry-specific terms and expressions. This is a huge help for our translators. If you don’t have a list yet, we can create one for you, based on key terms taken from the first source text we receive from you.

2. Your terminology is translated by a qualified translator.

A qualified translator, chosen from our vast network of translation professionals, gets to work to provide a consistent translation with the correct terminology.

3. Your subject matter expert(s) review(s) the translated content.

We send our translations to you, so you can revise and approve. After all, your experts know how things are named in the workplace. They know the procedures, products and company lingo best.

4. We translate the entire content, using the approved terminology list.

Following your approval, we use all the confirmed terminology for every next translation. We plug the terminology list into our translation software, so that the translator no longer has any doubt about the desired translation. Next, we add the translations to the translation memory that we have been building up for you, so we can use them for future jobs.

5. Quality assurance

Both our translators and our quality assurance team perform a final double check before delivering the translation to you. Besides multiple formal and language-specific checks, we make sure that all translated terminology is accurate and used in the right context. 

Your terminology management in good hands

A terminology list is of huge importance when you want to translate HSE content for global use. Clearly, building such a list is a collaborative effort, whereby the mix of your subject matter expertise and Yamagata Europe’s translation experience makes all the difference.

Do you need to create global life-critical content? Do you want to start building a terminology list, but you’re not sure where to start? Then contact us for a free consultation.