IBM Terminology: “The Power of Consistent Terminology”

ibmThat is the headline of IBM’s page that provides information on terminology management. I think it’s a very powerful headline and I was happy to find the information while doing some research. It’s a very simple and concise overview of terminology management, just like we like it. Also, it’s a great example of how important terminology management is for any company, but particularly large companies such as IBM. Here are the topics covered. I have extracted some highlights for each topic to give you an idea of the contents.


  1. Terminology Management. Executive overview.

“Today, to effectively develop and deliver global software, we need to pay more attention to how we manage the terminology used in software and corporate collateral. Without controls, terminology can cause problems that will cost your company money and customer satisfaction”

  1. Introduction to Terminology Management. What is the problem?”

“Consistent terminology contributes to presenting an integrated look and feel across products, and it ensures that service, support, marketing, and development all speak the same language, a language users can learn to understand.”

  1. Terms you need to manage.

“The types of terms that you may need to manage when developing global products include homonyms, synonyms, new terms or ‘neologisms,’ and non-translated terms.”

“When users have to decipher the intended meaning, the information is unclear, and the term may even be incorrectly translated.”

  1. Use a Terminology database.

“How do you minimize terminology problems? Start by creating a robust terminology database that records both homonyms and synonyms and can mark new terms and other usage information such as product use and subject fields.”

  1. Extract terms

“Extracting terms from product materials as they are being developed can be very beneficial. According to the LISA survey, terminology extraction is one of the most frequently performed terminology tasks in the localization process.”

  1. Repurpose terminology

“Most people think terminology is just about words and definitions. After all, that’s what a dictionary contains. But today, more detailed information needs to be recorded about terms to support the development of global products.”

  1. Summary of benefits and challenges

“A proactive approach to terminology management supports your overall globalization strategy.”

“There are challenges ahead, including, developing better terminology management tools and increasing awareness in the corporate culture of the need to use proper terminology. Facing those challenges will become even more important as the bar is raised for better and better global software.”

Also, don’t forget to check IBM’s software and hardware products glossary. Click here.

In some topics they have links to “Further reading”, in case you want to read more.

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