Termwiki’s My Glossary Delivers The Goods

Ever since its debut in December 2010, TermWiki’s My Glossary has gained widespread recognition and adoption as translators, content professionals and subject matter experts use the tool to store, manage and obtain peer-to-peer review and translations of their terms. My Glossary makes it possible for everyone to own and share terms and glossaries in one integrated, community-powered platform.

Unlike the traditional approach to glossary management, which usually relies on locally stored, scattered and static files, My Glossary allows users to store their glossaries online and access them anywhere with an Internet connection. More importantly, My Glossary allows glossary owners to obtain peer translation and review of their terms for free.

Another important benefit of My Glossary is that it allows translators and tech writers to advertise their own services to potential buyers. As all uploaded terms are stamped with user info, anyone looking for subject matter experts in a particular field, perhaps working in a certain language, can search for relevant terms and instantly contact the original contributor, resulting in potential business opportunities.

TermWiki is more like a translation social network than a dictionary, in that participants can share and discuss linguistic related issues. You simply create a TermWiki account, give your glossary a name and description, and assign a relevant industry to it. From there, you can import your terms from an Excel spreadsheet or pick terms from TermWiki’s large term base manually. The imported terms are then presented on one page, including a definition and translation.

While this is impressive enough, here’s how you can really put the platform to the test � by employing multi-party review and translation. Users are presented with two options in this regard: to share the glossary with designated colleagues for viewing and/or review, or invite others to add whole extra translation sets. These invited colleagues do not have to be registered TermWiki users, although they will have to register to make any modifications. The software provides a wide range of features for reviewers and translators to use: term rating and discussion features (each term has its own discussion page) and a MT (machine translation) based translation workbench.

Each change made to a term is listed in the history pages, and can be reversed if necessary. As a glossary owner, I still retain control of my glossaries, despite inviting others to make modifications or translations – especially as changes made by other parties trigger automatic notifications, sent to the user’s email address. And importantly, glossary owners can move data in and out of the system as necessary, vital for translators needing to integrate updated terminology with their translation memory system of choice for translation projects.

TermWiki is sometimes criticized for its stubborn requirement of users to adhere to its strict, sometimes obligatory term attributes accompanying each term. However, I believe the discipline exacted in requiring users to create as complete glossaries as possible can be quite beneficial. Glossary owners are provided with a solid base on which to create a large, useful glossary, even if it does require a bit of extra work at the beginning.

CSOFT’s My Glossary has successfully put back the management in glossary management, through providing a well thought-out and professional online platform.

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